McCullers, Altuve shine in win
The Houston Astros capped off their series split against the New York Yankees with a 6-1 win over the defending American League Champion Kansas City Royals Monday evening behind a strong start from Lance McCullers.
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All-Star hopeful Jose Altuve helped hammer opposing pitcher Joe Blanton by launching a solo home run to begin a three-run third inning. Preston Tucker singled to center fielder Jarrod Dyson, scoring third baseman Luis Valbuena from second, following a Jon Singleton walk with only one out in the inning.
With the Astros having themselves a 3-0 and Domingo Santana in the batter’s box, the 22-year-old from Santo Domingo recorded an RBI single to left fielder Alex Gordon, extending their early lead to 4-0.
Santana was credited with an RBI during the bottom half of the second after drawing a bases loaded walk, allowing Valbuena to score for the first time in the game.
Jason Castro later followed that up with a sacrifice fly to center which scored Singleton to make it 2-0.
McCullers (4-2, 2.19 ERA) was absolutely lights out today despite giving up a home run, holding the Royals to just one earned run on four hits while issuing two walks and striking out six batters in seven innings of work.
His counterpart, Blanton (2-0, 3.14 ERA), wasn’t as successful on the bump. Houston chased him out of the game after tagging him for five earned runs on five hits in 2 2/3 frames. The 34-year-old veteran issued four walks and punched out five batters prior to being replaced by Brandon Finnegan who was also charged with an earned run.
Kansas City’s bullpen was a main reason why they reached the World Series last year. But they’ve had some shaky moments this season as they continue to defend their A.L. crown.
We continue on to the home half of the fifth inning and first baseman Chris Carter in the batter’s box. Carter launched his 14th home run of the season to deep center field, making it a six-run ballgame.
The Royals finally answered with their only run of the game when Salvador Perez hit his 13th long ball of the season to left field with McCullers on the mound.