Houston's seven-game winning streak ended Sunday in Kansas City when Ian Kennedy increased his career mark over the Astros to 4-0 with a 6-1 decision. Kendrys Morales belted two solo homers for the Royals and Cheslor Cuthbert also went deep off Doug Fister to give Kennedy all the support he needed.
Gattis: Lone bright spot
(c) Associated Press
Kennedy fanned eleven and gave up three hits in seven innings. One of those hits was a solo shot by Evan Gattis in the sixth which tied the game at one apiece.
Then the Royals, who showed their comeback mettle on the path to the Worlds Championship last season, broke it open with five runs in the seventh for the knockout blow.
The loss didn't hurt the Astros that badly. They fell back a game to Kansas City in the Wild Card standings but are still just 1-1/2 games behind Toronto and 2-1/2 games behind Boston for the two wild card spots. That's a lot better off than they were a few weeks ago.
Now the 39-37 Astros will venture to the Big A for a three-game set against the Angels in Anaheim. Collin McHugh (5-5) will lock up with Matt Shoemaker (3-8) in the 9:05 Central opener. Both were effective last week when the two teams played in Houston.
In other news, the Astros announced they were promoting infielder Alex Bregman and outfielder Teoscar Hernandez from AA Corpus Christi to AAA Fresno, right after they participate in the Texas League All-Star Game on Tuesday. Bregman has sailed through the minors, batting .297 with 14 homers, after being selected second overall in the 2015 June draft.
Hernandez has hit .305 with six homers and 29 steals at Corpus and the Astros made room for him when they sold Eury Perez to the Tampa Bay Rays last week.
After this series in Anaheim, the Astros will fly home and spend their final 10 games in Houston before the All-Star Break.
- Bob Hulsey