Wednesday, 28 June, 2017

Astros score 5 in 9th to top Royals 6-1

Pittsburgh Pirates Jordy Mercer right congratulates the Pirates' Andrew Mc Cutchen after Mc Cutchen hit a ninth-inning three-run home run and the Pirates' John Jaso who scored on the homer in a baseball game against the New York Mets Royals' Moustakas homers to halt Astros' win streak at 11
Javier Burns | 09 June, 2017, 09:32

On Thursday night the Royals get the chance to make it three out of four. "I know he's sore", Hinch said.

But things changed as with the injuries to Charlie Morton and Joe Musgrove certainly tested the wits of our bullpen.

Tonight's pitching matchup has Dallas Keuchel (9-0, 1.67 ERA) on the mound for Houston to face Jason Vargas (7-3, 2.08) of the Royals. Jake Marisnick drove in the other two runs with a single.

Rookie reliever Dayan Diaz, called up earlier Wednesday to provide a fresh arm for the bullpen, made his first Major League Baseball start and lasted just 2 2/3 innings while allowing three runs on four hits to take the loss. Diaz allowed three runs and four hits and struck out three in 2 2/3 innings. It goes so much when a team has a pitcher who can simply dominate.

"He threw when he got here to Kansas City, and was scheduled to start".

"I definitely wanted to go back out there", Hammel said.

As Earl Weaver once said: "Momentum is the next day's starting pitcher".

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There was already one down in the inning when Altuve bunted and unless you're a pitcher in the National League, it's rare to sacrifice bunt with one out, Altuve had not laid a sac bunt down all year and only one team in the AL bunts less than Houston. Cheslor Cuthbert, Alcides Escobar and Lorenzo Cain all had their way with him, putting the Royals up 3-1 by the bottom of the 3rd and taking his fastball to task.

It looked like Soria had gotten out of the jam when he induced a ground ball from Josh Reddick, but Escobar booted it and two Astros scored after the ball trickled into shallow center field. Escobar poked his second RBI single to right, and Torres followed with his double to right field. And despite a surprisingly competent start from Jason Hammel, it was McCullers Jr. who was the pitcher of note in the Astros 6-1 win.

McCullers was removed after seven innings, permitting one run and two hits, while striking out eight and walking two.

The Astros optioned LHP Reymin Guduan, who had pitched the past two nights, to Triple-A Fresno to make room for Diaz. 3B Marwin Gonzalez (bruised left hand) was not in the lineup, but was available to pinch hit.

Junis has been dominating hitters at Omaha with 57 strikeouts against just eight walks in 42 1/3 innings.

"Herrera was just flat", Royals manager Ned Yost said.

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