Royals

Astros slugger Colby Rasmus breaks postseason record for extra-base hits

tpalmer@kcstar.com

Astros outfielder Colby Rasmus hit a homer against the Royals in the third inning Friday.
Astros outfielder Colby Rasmus hit a homer against the Royals in the third inning Friday. jledford@kcstar.com

Houston outfielder Colby Rasmus is on an unprecedented postseason power surge.

He tied the major-league record of an extra-base hit in his first five career playoff games with an eighth-inning solo home run Thursday.

Rasmus, 29, claimed the record for himself Friday, staking the Astros to a first-inning lead with an RBI double to deep right field.

Two innings later, Rasmus launched a home run in his third consecutive game starting the 2015 postseason, a 394-foot shot to right-center field on a 93-mph fastball from Royals starter Johnny Cueto.

“He’s been like that for a while now, so it’s not surprising to us seeing what he’s doing out there,” Astros left-hander Scott Kazmir said. “He’s a special player.”

He’s also locked in right now.

“I feel blessed,” Rasmus said. “The good Lord’s with me. I’m just loving the game right now and trying to help these boys win a ballgame.”

Rasmus clubbed a leadoff home run Tuesday in the second inning of the AL Wild Card Game that proved to be the game-winning RBI in a 3-0 win against the Yankees.

He nearly carried Houston to a commanding 2-0 lead against the Royals with his performance in Game 2 of the AL Division Series before his team lost 5-4.

“He’s hot,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He’s not missing pitches. Players go through periods where they’re hot and when they’re not hot and when you’re just kind of grinding through it. Colby’s hot right now. He’s getting pitches that he can drive, and he’s not missing them.”

Rasmus, who said his agent spoke briefly with the Royals during the offseason before the Alex Rios signing, attributed his calm and collected postseason demeanor to growing up in the spotlight.

At age 12, he helped the Phenix City (Ala.) squad win the United States championship at the Little League World Series.

“I played in front of 40,000 when I was 12 years old, Little League World Series,” Rasmus said. “That’s what it was always about, being ready for the big moment then just getting out there and getting after it, not being scared to make a mistake. I think that’s helped me.”

Tod Palmer: 816-234-4389, @todpalmer

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