Royals bullpen outlasts Astros, tie series at 1-1

The KC Royals came back to beat Houston, 5-4 in Game 2 of the American League Division Series. It was the first home victory of the entire MLB Postseason (home teams are 1-5 so far).

royals.jpgIt was another rough start for a Royals starter. This time it was Johnny Cueto, who allowed a run in the first. George Springer worked a one out walk and Colby Rasmus stayed hot with a two out, RBI double.

In the second, Springer drove in two runs with a bloop single to left.

Just like in Game 1, the Royals came back in the bottom of the second with a solo home run. This time, it came off the bat of Salvador Perez.

However, the Astros came right back to take a 4-1 lead when Rasmus led off the top of the third with another solo home run. It was his third straight postseason game with a homer.

The Royals scored their second run in the bottom of the second on a Ben Zobrist double play.

Cueto had thrown about 50 pitches through two innings and it looked like the Royals were going to have to go to the bullpen and possible Game 4 starter Kris Medlen in the early innings. However, Cueto started getting quick outs and lasted six innings.

After the Rasmus home run in the third, Cueto retired eight in a row before walking Ramus in the fifth.

Astros manager AJ Hinch had talked pregame about having a short leash with veteran starter Scott Kazmir and that came in the bottom of the sixth after Lorenzo Cain doubled with one out.

In came veteran lefty Oliver Perez, who allowed a bloop RBI single to Eric Hosmer.

 

Kendrys Morales followed with a single before Perez walked Mike Moustakas to load the bases.

Next out of the Astros bullpen was Josh Fields to make his postseason debut. He walked Perez on four pitches to drive in the tying run. Fields fought back to strike out both Alex Gordon and Alex Rios to escape further damage.

With the crowd fully back into the game, the Royals went to work against Astros reliever Will Harris, who struggled last night in Game 1. Alcides Escobar led off the inning with a triple (that was booted in right center field). Zobrist followed with a single up the middle to give the Royals their first lead of the series (it was Zobrist’s second straight two-hit game).

With the lead, the Royals went to Ryan Madson to pitch the eighth (Kelvin Herrera pitched a scoreless seventh). Madson induced a ground out of Evan Gattis, before striking out the final two batters of the inning.

Wade Davis was out for the save in the ninth and faced back-to-back pinch-hitters. While he struck out Jed Lowrie looking, he walked rookie Preston Tucker. Carlos Gomez came in to pinch run and was immediately picked off (on a reversed replay call).

That happened with Jose Altuve at the plate. Davis got Altuve to ground out to end the game.

 

Now the series moves to Houston for the next two games (Sunday and Monday), with Edinson Volquez starting Game 3 for the Royals. Wild Card winner Dallas Keuchel will start for the Astros, putting his undefeated record at home on the line.

 

*Paulo Orlando made his postseason debut, as he entered on defense for Rios in the seventh. He struck out in the eighth with two men on base.

**The above videos are via MLB.com.

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About Jen Nevius

I first became a KC Royals fan way back in 1995 when I attended my first Wilmington Blue Rocks game. I fell in love with minor league baseball then and began following the Royals as former Blue Rocks clawed their way to the big leagues. 3+ years ago I started covering the Royals for Aerys Sports, but since the site has been shut down, I am going out on my own.
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