Last week, June 16th to be exact, The Houston Astros came to Kansas City for a three game trip to face the AL Central last place Kansas City Royals. The first place Astros, in the middle of what would become a 12 game win streak, felt pretty confident, with former Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel standing off against Danny Duffy, season ERA at 5.55. It was a pretty good performance for the Astros, they scored ten runs that game, seven against Duffy, who finished the game with his seventh loss of the season.
Tonight Duffy, with these same Royals came to Minute Maid Park, facing the same Dallas Keuchel and the Astros. They had only won one game out of their last sixteen. The result this time was very different.
The Royals, whose team ERA is dead last in MLB at 5.32 going into the game, managed to hold the league leading Houston Astros offensive machine to two hits and no runs. The Astros continued their habit of hitting into double plays at an excessive rate, tonight doing so three times, twice with the bases loaded. They were 0-9 with runners in scoring position.
After Duffy left the game in the bottom of the sixth, getting an inning ending double play with the bases loaded of course, he was followed by Kevin McCarthy, (ERA 3.62) in the seventh, Justin Grimm, (ERA 12.79) in the eighth, and Tim Hill, (ERA 4.56) in the ninth. These three Royal relief aces gave stellar performances, holding the Astros hitless.
The Royals scored their only run in the top of the ninth, when Rosell Herrera (BA .226) tripled in Adalberto Mondesi (BA .214), who got on base on a single against losing pitcher Ken Giles’ first pitch of the inning.
In the previous inning Herrera made a spectacular catch in right field to rob Alex Bregman of a home run.
Tough no decision for Dallas Keuchel, who shutout the Royals for six innings, scattering six hits and two walks. In his last two games, both against the Royals, he has allowed only two runs in twelve innings.
Tomorrow is another day. The Astros send Lance McCullers (8-3, 3.77 ERA) against Ian Kennedy (1-7, 5.31 ERA)
Game time is 6:15 CDT.
Box score and videos here