Astros drop opener with the Royals, 4-2

Scott Halleran

Astros and Royals celebrate Jackie Robinson Day by wearing 42 and with the final score 4-2.

Tuesday, Major League Baseball celebrated the 67th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's first game in the majors. Unfortunately, the Astros on the wrong side of 4-2 decision when all players were wearing '42'.

Same Astro-time, same Astros-channel. Houston's offense was once again kept in check. This it was by the Royals' rookie pitcher Yordano Ventura. Ventura topped out multiple times at 100-mph. He made Astros hitters looks silly when he went to his secondary pitches - the 12-to-6 curveball and a changeup. Ventura allowed only one run over seven innings on four hits, three walks, and seven strikeouts.

Kansas City's strong bullpen slammed the door shut in the final two innings. Wade Davis and Greg Holland combined to strike out five of the six Astros they faced. Holland has converted 44 of his last 45 saves opportunities, dating back to May 2013.

Lucas Harrell took the ball for the Astros, we would later find out it was his last start as an Astro. Harrell pitched through the fifth inning for the first this year, and the first since July 30, 2013. Omar Infante accounted for two of the runs given up by Harrell, one by way of home run and one fielder's choice sacrifice. In total, Harrell allowed four runs -  bringing up his total for 2014 to 13 runs over 12.1 innings. That was enough for the Astros, Harrell was designated for assignment late Tuesday.

Paul Clemens pitched three scoreless innings in relief, helping his cause for taking over the fifth starter spot.

The Astros were held to four or fewer hits for the fifth time this season. The Astros' scoring came as a result of a leadoff double by Dexter Fowler and sac fly by Chris Carter. Carlos Corporan added a solo home run.

The Astro took action after another poor outing by the offense and Harrell by bringing up top-prospect George Springer and designating Harrell. What will this shake up do for the offense? We'll have to wait to see.

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