The KC Royals took to the road for the first time during the 2016 season on Monday and so far it has been a successful road trip. They took the four game series in Houston in a rematch of the American League Division Series.
The series did not start out too good, with an 8-2 loss on Monday night (the Astros home opener). Astros outfielder Colby Rasmus continued his power hitting against the Royals, clubbing a two-run home run in the first.
It was a struggle for Royals starter Chris Young, who allowed six runs on nine hits and two walks over 4.2 innings (though the Astros only scored off him in two innings). He left with two on in the fifth and Chien-Ming Wang left them stranded (though he did allow a run over 2.1 innings).
The Royals offense had plenty of chances, as they collected 11 hits, but Mike Moustakas hit into two double plays and only two of their hits went for extra bases. Kendrys Morales hit a two-run home run in the eighth.
On Tuesday, all of the run scoring happened in the first, as the Royals won 3-2. The Royals offense came on one swing of the bat, a three-run home run from Lorenzo Cain.
Kris Medlen settled down after allowing two runs on three hits and two walks in the first (including a Rasmus RBI double). Over five innings, Medlen allowed three more hits and two more walks while striking out seven.
The bullpen of Luke Hochevar, Kelvin Herrera, Joakim Soria, and Wade Davis combined for four scoreless innings of relief. Soria allowed a hit and a walk in the eighth, while Davis walked two in the ninth (still earning his third save of the season).
On Wednesday, the game was scoreless until the sixth and the Royals won, 4-2. In the eighth, they broke a 2-2 tie with a two out, two-run homer from Salvador Perez.
Jose Altuve was the offense for the Astros, hitting a homer off Yordano Ventura in the sixth and tying the game in the seventh with an RBI double off Hochevar.
Speaking of Ventura, he allowed a run on four hits and three walks over six innings. He struck out six. After Hochevar allowed the run in the seventh, Herrera walked one in the eighth and Soria picked up his first save with a five pitch ninth.
On Thursday, the Royals used a five run sixth to win, 6-2. The Royals led 1-0 after the first on a Moustakas homer.
The 6th inning started with a Paulo Orlando single. With two outs, LoCain singled before Eric Hosmer doubled in both runs. That started a string of three straight run scoring doubles before Perez singled in a run and chased Astros starter Doug Fister from the game.
Starter Ian Kennedy was the story, as he carried a no-hitter into the sixth, when Carlos Gomez singled to start the inning. Gomez was doubled off first base on a GREAT catch by Alcides Escobar:
Prior to that, Kennedy had walked one, who was thrown out trying to steal second base. Kennedy allowed his second hit to start the seventh, a homer by Altuve. All-in-all, Kennedy walked two and struck out seven over seven innings.
Danny Duffy pitched a perfect eighth, but allowed three hits and a run in the ninth. In came Davis to face Rasmus with two on. Davis induced a game ending double play.
The Royals continue their road trip to Oakland beginning tonight, as baseball celebrates Jackie Robinson Day.