Royals drop Game 1 of ALDS

The KC Royals continued the trend so far in the MLB Postseason, as zero home teams have won after the first four games. The Royals lost to visiting Houston, 5-2 in Game 1 of the American League Division Series.

Houston-Astros-Logo.svgThe Astros jumped on Royals starter Yordano Ventura in the very first inning. Jose Altuve led off the game with a single and George Springer worked a walk. Carlos Correa followed with a single to load the bases for the power of the Astros order.

Ventura induced ground outs from Colby Rasmus and Evan Gattis, but both resulted in runs. It could have been worse, but the Royals trailed 2-0 after the top of the first.

It looked like the Royals might come right back and at least get a run against Astros starter Collin McHugh, as Ben Zobrist singled with one out and stole second base. However, he was left stranded.

The Astros tacked on another run in the second on a two out, Altuve RBI single.

The Royals got on the board when Kendrys Morales led off the bottom of the second with a solo home run.

However, the rain that wasn’t predicted came, leading to about an hour delay.

The Royals elected to pull Ventura and went with Chris Young, who baffled Astros hitters. He struck out six of the first seven batters he faced (he walked Rasmus in the third). Young had more swings and misses in his first inning of work than Ventura had through two innings.

DH Kendrys Morales at the plate during spring training 2015 (Jen Nevius).

DH Kendrys Morales at the plate during spring training 2015 (Jen Nevius).

Morales struck again with two outs in the bottom of the fourth against McHugh, who came back out after the delay. Morales homered in his second straight at-bat.

The Astros came right back in the fifth. Altuve singled to start the inning, but was thrown out trying to steal second base. Young then made one bad pitch, as Springer followed with a solo homer to give the Astros a two-run lead.

Young got through the sixth by inducing an inning ending double play. His final line: 4IP, 3H, R, 2BB, 7K.

Kelvin Herrera followed and allowed a leadoff single in the eighth. However, he struck out the final two batters of the inning to escape (Springer and Correa).

Ryan Madson made one bad pitch in the seventh, the first to Rasmus, who led off the inning with a home run.

 

Meanwhile, McHugh allowed just four hits over six innings. He walked one and struck out one. Zobrist singled in the first, the two homers from Morales, and an Alex Gordon single.

Lefty Tony Sipp followed and retired Mike Moustakas, Salvador Perez, and Gordon in order in the seventh.

The Royals only really had one shot (besides the two solo homers from Morales). That came in the bottom of the eighth with Will Harris on the mound. With two outs, Zobrist and Lorenzo Cain delivered back-to-back singles. Up came Eric Hosmer, so the Astros went to veteran lefty Oliver Perez. Hosmer popped up in foul territory to end the rally.

In the ninth, Luke Gregerson hit Moose with one out, but struck out Perez and got Gordon to fly out to left to end the game.

 

*By going just two innings, Ventura will most likely come back to pitch Game 4 (if necessary).

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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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