Keuchel outduels Volquez as Astros take ALDS lead

The KC Royals couldn’t solve Houston starter Dallas Keuchel, as he improved to 16-0 at home in 2015. The Astros won Game 3 of the American League Championship Series, 4-2 to take a 2-1 series lead.

The Royals actually led 1-0, as Lorenzo Cain blasted his first postseason home run in the 4th inning. LoCain battled for ten pitches to start the inning.

Despite chances off of Keuchel, that was the lone run the Royals scratched across against the Astros ace.

Royals starter Edinson Volquez matched Keuchel zero for zero and deserved much better than his eventual fate. Over the first four innings, the only blemishes for Volquez were two walks to Colby Rasmus and a single from Chris Carter (who was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double by Alex Gordon).

With two runners in scoring position and one out in the fifth, Volquez had the struggling Jason Castro down in the count 1-2. However, Castro hit the low pitch back up the middle to drive in two runs with a single.

Volquez then got the suddenly struggling Jose Altuve to ground into an inning ending double play (0 for his last 11).

Volquez went back out for the 6th inning, but allowed a leadoff double to George Springer. Astros rookie shortstop Carlos Correa then moved Springer to third base with a ground ball to second base. After intentionally walking Rasmus (his third walk of the game), Volquez struck out Evan Gattis.

However, Carlos Gomez hit a line drive to center on a pitch off his shoe tops to drive in the Astros third run.

That was the end for Volquez, who threw 87 pitches over 5.2 innings.

In came lefty Danny Duffy, who threw just one pitch to get out of the sixth. However, Duffy’s first pitch of the seventh was blasted out of the ballpark by Chris Carter, who went 3-for-3.

The Royals got to Astros closer Luke Gregerson in the ninth when Gordon hit a solo homer to start the inning. Alex Rios followed with a blast to the wall in left-center, but it was hauled in by Gomez. Alcides Escobar followed with a bloop single to bring up the Royals hottest hitter, Ben Zobrist. Zobrist hit a shot to short, that Correa flipped to second for the second out.

That brought up LoCain, who struck out to end the game. He missed at least two pitches that were up in the zone that he should have at least driven for a hit.

 

Yordano Ventura will start Monday afternoon’s Game 4 in a must win for the Royals. Astros rookie Lance McCullers will start for Houston.

 

*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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