Houston (CBS Houston) – Mike Moustakas’ first inning home run, a five run sixth inning and a strong pitching performance by Ian Kennedy lifts the Royals past the Astros, 6-2.
The 31-year-old Kennedy carried a no-hitter through five innings, faced the minimum through six innings and his offense gave him plenty of run support as the Royals handed the Astros their third loss in a row.
“He was throwing strikes, he was throwing his curveball, slider, not sure what it is. Mixing his fastball away and in, throwing strikes. When you get ahead of hitters, you have a chance to get an out,” said Jose Altuve referring to Royals’ starter Kennedy.
Kennedy would finish the game allowing just one run, on two hits, while striking out seven in seven innings pitched.
Kansas City was first to get on the board when Mike Moustakas hit his third home run of the season off Astros’ righty Doug Fister in the first inning. It was the 16th time the Astros surrendered a home run in just the 10th game of the season, which leads the league in home runs allowed.
After giving up back-to-back hits following the home run, Fister was able to escape the inning without any further damage.
Including the final out in the first, Fister would retire the next 13 Royals he faced until the sixth inning when the wheels fell off.
Fister gave up a lead off single to Paulo Orlando, and then induced two fly outs, as it appeared he would get out of the sixth without any damage. The next batter, Lorenzo Cain hit a pop up to right that George Springer lost in the lights. The hit would be the turning point for Fister, who then allowed three doubles in a row by Eric Hosmer, Kendrys Morales and Alex Gordon. Salvador Perez would then chase Fister out of the game with an RBI single giving the Royals a 6-0 lead.
“Obviously things didn’t bounce our way, but at the same time, I’ve got to do my job on the mound to get the guy at the plate,” said Fister who was touched up for six runs in his 5 2/3 innings of work.
Meanwhile, Ian Kennedy didn’t allow a hit through five innings before Carlos Gomez started the bottom of the sixth with a single up the middle. Gomez was promptly thrown out at first base on a double play after Alcides Escobar made an over the shoulder catch to rob Marwin Gonzalez of a hit.
Kennedy faced the minimum through six innings until Jose Altuve launched his third home run of the year over the wall in right center field.
“He was pretty bullish with his fastball, and then he was landing his breaking ball in the strike zone, which created an in between approach for us. When he has his velocity back, I’ve seen Ian since his first year, and he’s got his velocity he carries his fastball up in the zone, he pitches in pretty well and really disrupted our timing. We really didn’t have an adjustment fast enough for him,” said Astros’ manager A.J. Hinch.
The Astros tried to rally in the ninth inning off Danny Duffy. Evan Gattis got a pinch-hit single, Jose Altuve then doubled. After a Springer strike out, Carlos Correa delivered an RBI infield single. Royals manager, Ned Yost, would bring in his closer Wade Davis who got Colby Rasmus to ground into a game ending double play for his fourth save of the season.