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Game No. 61 Preview: Houston Astros at Kansas City Royals

Can the Astros avoid a three game slide?

Houston Astros v Kansas City Royals Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Houston Astros (42-18) vs. Kansas City Royals (26-32), June 8, 2017, 7:15 p.m. CT

TV: ROOT SPORTS Southwest
Radio: KBME 790 AM, La Nueva 94.1 FM
Online: MLB.TV
Royals SBNation Blog: Royals Review

Pitching Matchup

RHP Lance McCullers Jr. (6-1, 2.71 ERA, 1.11 WHIP) vs. RHP Jason Hammel (2-6, 5.93 ERA, 1.60 WHIP)

Preview

The Astros’ 11-game winning streak is over. Houston currently has a two-game losing streak. The Astros have had only four back-to-back losses this season and they have only lost three games in a row twice.

Lance McCullers enters to send the Astros slide and take the mantle of ace while Dallas Keuchel is on the shelf again.

McCullers was named the AL Pitcher of the Month in May after going 4-0 with a 0.99 ERA in five starts. McCullers allowed four runs (three earned) and six hits in 4 1/3 innings in his most recent outing on Saturday in Arlington.

McCullers is 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA in two career starts against the Royals. He previously faced the Royals on April 9, he allowed three earned runs in seven innings, striking out 10 and walking none in a 5-4 win.

Salvador Perez is batting .333 (2x6) with two home run against McCullers. Lorenzo Cain is 0-for-6 with three strikeouts.

The Royals counter with Jason Hammel.

Hammel settled down after allowing two homers in his last outing against the Indians to complete nearly seven innings, he earned his second win of the year. He retired 15 of the last 17 batters he faced and struck out seven, which is tied for a season high.

Hammel is 2-2 with a 3.09 ERA in seven starts (eight appearances) in his career against the Astros. Jose Altuve is batting .182 (2x11) with a double against Hammel. Evan Gattis 3-for-4 with a home run against Hammel.

Today's Lineups

HOUSTON ASTROS KANSAS CITY ROYALS
George Springer - CF Whit Merrifield - 2B
Josh Reddick - RF Jorge Bonifacio - RF
Jose Altuve - 2B Lorenzo Cain - CF
Carlos Correa - SS Eric Hosmer - 1B
Brian McCann - C Mike Moustakas - 3B
Evan Gattis - DH Brandon Moss - DH
Yulieski Gurriel - 1B Alex Gordon - LF
Alex Bregman - 3B Alcides Escobar - SS
Norichika Aoki - LF Drew Butera - C
Lance McCullers - RHP Jason Hammel - RHP