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Royals 7, Astros 2: First Playoff Appearance In Ten Years Ends In Game Five

Bats did almost nothing tonight against Cueto. Royals hit the ball a lot more that we did. End of story.

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The Astros had a series clinching game for the second time in this series.  Collin McHugh took the mound looking to repeat his success from Game One of this series, and the Astros bats wanted to get going off of Royals starter Johnny Cueto like they did in Game Two.

Houston drew first blood in the second inning.  Evan Gattis hit a ball sharply to third and beat it out for an infield hit.  Luis Valbuena took the very next pitch from Cueto deep to right field for a two run homer.  McHugh looked sharp through the first three innings, only allowing one hit.  He ran into trouble in the fourth inning.  With one out, Lorenzo Cain got a check swing single into right field. Eric Hosmer hit a soft single to center, but Carlos Gomez slipped and fell after fielding it.  Cain scored from first to cut the lead to 2-1.

Mchugh couldn't get through the fifth inning.  He started the inning by hitting Salvador Perez on a 3-2 pitch.  Alex Gordon followed with a ground rule double to right.  Mike Fiers came in to relieve McHugh and allowed a double down the third base line to Alex Rios to score two runs and make the score 3-2 Royals.  After a sacrifice bunt moved Rios to third, Ben Zobrist followed with a sacrifice fly to bring the runner home.  After five the Royals had a 4-2 lead and were cruising.

Kendrys Morales put the final nail in the coffin when he hit a 3-run homer off of Dallas Keuchel, who did not look great coming out of the bullpen.

The Astros bats were silent.  Through the first seven innings they only had two hits, the Gattis infield single and the Valbuena home run.  After that homer, Cueto sat down 19 batters in a row.  He faced a total of 26 batters and retired 24 of them.  Hats off to a great performance.  Wade Davis came in for a 1-2-3 ninth inning to close it out.

It was a great season.  This team exceeded expectations all along, and took the best team in the American League to a fifth game, and could have won in the fourth game. Congrats to Jeff Luhnow, A.J. Hinch, and all the players who made this such an amazing ride after ten years of bad (and four years of awful).  Pitchers and catchers report in four months you guys.  I can't wait.