Dallas Keuchel took the hill looking for his 16th win at home in 2015. He had a full house behind him all in orange. The first three innings were pretty uneventful. Keuchel gave up two hits, but made it through without any real threats. On the other side, Edinson Volquez only gave up one hit, a liner off the scoreboard by Chris Carter, but Carter was erased trying to go for second.
The top of the fourth was tough for Keuchel. Lorenzo Cain worked a ten-pitch at-bat which ended with a monster homer to left to lead off the inning. After getting the next batter to strike out, Kendrys Morales hit a ball right between Luis Valbuena's legs. He moved to second on a wild pitch, then to third on a groundout. After a walk, Keuchel finally got a fly ball from Alex Gordon to end the inning, but it took him 33 pitches. The Royals had a 1-0 lead, the first time they have had the lead to start a game this series.
In the bottom of the fifth the Astros finally struck. With one out, Valbuena drew a walk, and Carter followed with a double off of the scoreboard. Jason Castro, hitless in the series so far, knocked a single up the middle to score both runners. The Astros headed to the sixth with a 2-1 lead.
In the sixth, George Springer started the inning with a double off the glove of Cain. He moved to third on a groundout to second by Carlos Correa. After an intentional walk to Colby Rasmus, and a strikeout by Evan Gattis, Carlos Gomez stroked a single to center to make the score 3-1.
Keuchel came back out for the seventh and really worked hard. He allowed a walk, but got Cain on a 3-2 pitch to swing through a slider to end a minor threat. In the bottom of the seventh Chris Carter gave them a little more cushion with a first pitch bomb to left to make the score 4-1.
Tony Sipp came in to start the eighth inning. He collected two strikeouts around a walk. With two down, A.J. Hinch called on Luke Gregerson to finish the eighth. He got Perez to ground to third for the final out of the inning. The offense made some noise in the bottom of the inning, including a ball that Rasmus hit off the roof in fair territory, but didn't add any runs.
Gregerson started the ninth giving up a solo homer to Alex Gordon. After an out he gave up a bloop single to the lead-off hitter. He followed that by induced a Zobrist grounder that got the lead runner, bringing Cain to the plate as the tying run. Gregerson struck out Cain to end the game and take a 2-1 lead in the series.
The Astros send Lance McCullers to the hill to try to clinch at home and head to the ALCS.
#Astros win and take a 2-1 lead over KC in the #ALDS! #Astros 4, Royals 2. #HustleTown pic.twitter.com/pEHocA0x0z— Houston Astros (@astros) October 11, 2015