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Royals 3, Astros 1: Astros save offense for regular season

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Because it's all part of the plan.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Astros have collected 13 hits in their two exhibition games with the American League champions this weekend. Houston was only able to plate two runs the entire series. Clearly, the Astros are saving their runs for the regular season. It's the only explanation. These are professionals we're talking about here, it's they're job to score runs. The Astros were only making the Royals feel better about themselves after losing James Shields in free agency this off season. The Astros didn't even intend to score the two runs they did. Evan Gattis can't control his oso blanco powers and it resulted in a home run on Friday, and Jake Marisnick is just a silly rookie who didn't know the plan.

(/takes off tin foil cap)

Seriously, this is practice. Friday and Saturday's game was probably more practice for the concession stand employees than the players on the field in the grand scheme of things.

Collin McHugh was sharp in his final tuneup on Saturday, pitching four scoreless innings. He allowed one hit, one walk, and struck out three. Tony Sipp and Samuel Deduno didn't allow a hit in each of their innings of work. Josh Hader, the 2014 California League Pitcher of the Year, closed out the eighth with no hits allowed and two strikeouts.

Lance McCullers Jr. saw his first action at Minute Maid Park in the seventh and eighth inning. The 2012 first-round pick struggled, giving up three extra-base hits (four total hits) and two earned runs.

Jake Marisnick was the only highlight on offense, going 2-for-3 with an RBI.

The Astros return to action on Monday, Opening Day, against the Indians at 6:10 PM CT.