It has to end at some point, right? The Royals offense should be much better than the product that has been on the field at some point this season. Instead, the Royals offense continued to be offensive in their production, making Collin McHugh look like the second coming of Bert Blyleven as the Astros defeated the Royals 3-0.
Both teams were scoreless until the top of the fourth, when Jeremy Guthrie ran into trouble with one out. Dexter Fowler and Jason Castro drew back to back walks, with Fowler scoring on a base hit up the middle by Matt Dominguez. After Lorenzo Cain misplayed the ball to advance the runners an extra base, Guthrie was able to get out of the jam with a strikeout and a lineout to end the inning.
Unfortunately for Guthrie and the Royals, McHugh was masterful on the mound. The Royals managed to get a runner to third twice against McHugh with two outs, but were unable to push that tying run across. Featuring a devastating slow curve, McHugh held the Royals to five hits over seven shutout innings, striking out nine as the Royals could only flail at the hook.
Any chance that the Royals had to make a comeback seemingly went out the window in the top of the eighth inning. Tim Collins came in, and promptly gave up a double to deep right to Castro. A groundout moved Castro to third, and a walk put runners at the corners for Robbie Grossman. The Astros put on the suicide squeeze on the first pitch, which Grossman bunted foul. Not expecting anyone to think they would call the squeeze again, the Astros put the same play on. This time, Collins bounced the pitch into Grossman’s feet, allowing Castro to score on what was technically a steal of home. After Grossman singled to put runners at the corners again, Alex Presley hit a sacrifice fly to give Houston a 3-0 lead.
That would prove to be the final score, as Tony Sipp and Chad Qualls combined to shut down the Royals offense over the final two innings to close out the game. Jeremy Guthrie took the loss despite pitching well, giving up one run on seven hits and three walks, striking out five in his six innings.
Both teams combined for 17 hits in the game, with Jason Castro’s double accounting for the only extra base hit.