June 16, 2018 / 9:33 PM / a month ago

Astros trounce Royals for 10th straight victory

EditorsNote: Fixes wording in 7th graf

Max Stassi picked up a pair of teammates with his three-run home run in the sixth inning and the Houston Astros extended their winning streak to 10 games with a 10-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday at Kauffman Stadium.

Stassi launched his seventh home run to left field off Royals left-hander Danny Duffy (3-7), blasting a 1-0 changeup with one out and plating Yuli Gurriel and Marwin Gonzalez. The Royals (22-48) had sliced what was a 4-0 deficit in half in the bottom of the fifth before Stassi struck but suffered their fifth straight loss and 11th in the past 12 games.

Kansas City clawed back into contention thanks in part to a fielding error on Astros shortstop Carlos Correa. Houston left-hander Dallas Keuchel (4-8) was one out shy of completing five scoreless innings before Correa muffed a ground ball from Royals catcher Drew Butera.

The Royals capitalized on the gift, stringing together three successive two-out hits, with Butera scoring on a Whit Merrifield double to left and Ryan Goins coming home on Mike Moustakas’ infield single. Keuchel recovered with a strikeout of designated hitter Salvador Perez, with 15 of his 31 pitches in the fifth coming after the Correa misplay.

Keuchel, 0-3 with a 7.33 ERA over his previous five starts, delivered a rebound performance, allowing two unearned runs on six hits and one walk with five strikeouts over six innings. Keuchel posted 12 ground-ball outs, reaching that threshold for the ninth time this season.

The Astros (47-25) improved to 9-0 on their 10-game road trip by jumping on Duffy in their first at-bat. George Springer (walk), Alex Bregman (single), and Jose Altuve reached in succession to open the game, with Altuve delivering a two-run double that provided Houston a 2-0 lead.

Duffy surrendered just one additional baserunner through the close of the fourth but Gonzalez (3-for-4) opened the fifth with a double and scored when Jake Marisnick singled to right. Houston extended its lead to 4-0 when Marisnick scored on a Bregman sacrifice fly to left.

Bregman added a three-run homer in the ninth, his 10th blast of the season.

Duffy allowed seven runs (six earned) on seven hits and three walks with five strikeouts over six innings.

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