For the first time this season, KC Royals starter Jonathan Sanchez reached the 6th inning. However, the Royals lost to Houston, 9-7.
It was actually a pitcher’s duel between Sanchez and the Astros JA Happ. Both teams got on the board in the first inning. The Royals scored a single run on a Jeff Francoeur two-out RBI single. The Astros scored two runs, one on a Brian Bixler solo homerun and the other on a failed pickoff attempt by Sanchez.
The Astros got to Sanchez again in the 4th inning on his wildness. He hit Chris Johnson and threw yet another pickoff throw away. With one out, Chris Snyder drove him in with a single. With two outs, Sanchez hit another batter and allowed a single to load the bases for Justin Maxwell. He walked him to force in the fourth run.
When the two starters left the game, the score was 4-2 Houston after six innings. Sanchez: 6IP, 6H, 4R, 3ER, 4BB, 3K, 2HBP. Happ: 6IP, 4H, 2R, BB, 3K.
The Astros scored a ton of insurance against Royals reliever Louis Coleman in the bottom of the 8th inning. Five runs to be exact (two homeruns). Every one of those runs was needed as the Royals came storming back in the top of the 9th inning against Astros closer Brett Myers.
With one out, the Royals strung together three straight singles to load the bases and Jarrod Dyson drove in one run with a single. Pinch-hitter Mitch Maier drove in a run with a sac fly. Alex Gordon loaded the bases again with a single. Yuniesky Betancourt followed with a two-run single and Billy Butler followed with an RBI single. After a Francoeur single loaded the bases yet again, Myers was finally taken out.
So the Royals had the bases loaded, two outs, trailing by two runs with Mike Moustakas coming to the plate against Xavier Cedeno. Moose popped out in foul territory on the fourth curveball of the at-bat to end the game.
It was another night that the Royals offense out-hit their opponent (13-11), but still lost the ballgame. Yuni continued his hot-hitting with a 2-for-5 night. Francoeur and Alcides Escobar also collected two hits. Gordon went 3-for-5 from the leadoff spot to get his average up to a respectable .262.
*Coleman returned to the Royals as Chris Getz was placed on the DL and Nate Adcock was again sent back to Triple-A. Lefty reliever Tommy Hottovy joined Coleman with a promotion.
**For more on the Astros, check out Tales from the Juicebox.