1Another rough start
Things looked fairly tame as the Astros had a runner at first with two outs in the first inning. Johnny Cueto showed off his shimmer. The fans were loud. Then Colby Rasmus hit a double in the right-center gap. George Springer scored easily and the Royals trailed. Ben Zobrist’s one-out single was all the Royals managed in their half of the frame. For the second straight game, KC trailed after one inning.
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2Just out of reach
Cueto’s struggles continued as the Astros loaded the bases with no one out. A lazy fly to right fielder Alex Rios was too shallow to score a run. But Springer hit a flare into short left field that just eluded shortstop Alcides Escobar and two Astros runners scored.
3Shimmy, shimmy ... rake
Cueto got two strikes on Rasmus, did a little shimmy as he delivered a pitch. Rasmus continued to rake as he crushed the pitch to right-center field and made it a 4-1 Astros lead. The Royals got the run back as Alex Rios doubled and took third on Escobar’s bunt single. Royals fans began to stir but Ben Zobrist hit into a 5-4-3 twin killing. The Royals got the run back but fans would have liked more.
4A 1-2-3 sighting
Finally, some good news for Royals fan. Cueto retired the Astros in order, getting a ground out to second, a strike out and a fly ball to the outfield. In the bottom half, Scott Kazmir got a ground out to second, a strikeout and a fly ball to the outfield. Hey, that’s symmetry. But Royals fans wanted a run.
Cueto had another fairly easy inning, issuing just a two-out walk to Rasmus, who was left stranded. The Royals also got a walk, this one by Alex Gordon, but he never left first base and things remained the same.
6And ... we’re tied
Cueto’s day finished with another fairly easy inning. He allowed a leadoff single to Luis Valbuena, but got the two flyballs and a grounder that turned into a force out. Then came the fun for Royals fans. With one out, Lorenzo Cain doubled into the right-field corner. Oliver Perez came on in relief and Eric Hosmer blooped a single to left on a pitch well off the plate. With the Astros infield shifted to the left side, Kendrys Morales hit a single to the vacated spot at second. Moustakas drew a walk that loaded the bases, and Josh Fields took over on the mound. He issued four straight balls to Salvador Perez and Hosmer trotted home. The chance for more runs vanished, however with strikeouts by Gordon and Rios.
7Z-man comes through
Kelvin Herrera kept the Astros in check in the top of the inning, allowing just a two-out single. Then Royals fans had a chance to really cut loose. Escobar tripled into the right-field alley and came home on a Zobrist single as the Royals took their first lead of the series.
8Score remains the same
Ryan Madson made quick work of the Astros, setting them down in order and getting two strikeouts in the process. The Royals looked to pad their lead as Perez and Gordon had consecutive hits to put runners on the corners. Jarrod Dyson pinch-ran for Gordon and swiped second. The Royals didn’t cash in as Paulo Orlando struck out and Escobar flied to right.
9Wade Davis is good
Wade Davis entered the game and struck out Jed Lowrie on three pitches, the last looking. He expressed his displeasure with home-plate umpire Angel Hernandez. Preston Tucker walked. Carlos Gomez pinch ran and before a pitch, he was twas picked off. A replay was needed, but Royals fans roared their approval. With the crowd of 40,008 waving towels, Altuve grounded out to Moustakas and the series was tied.