Dozier homer helps Royals to 3rd straight win over Astros
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Hunter Dozier hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning, and the Kansas City Royals earned their third straight win over Houston, beating the Astros 3-2 Wednesday night.
Dozier homered off a slider from reliever Blake Taylor to help the Royals post their 31st come-from-behind victory of the season, fourth-most in the American League.
The Royals go for a four-game series sweep over Houston on Thursday.
The game ended when Andrew Benintendi threw out Chas McCormick trying to score from second on a single by Jose Altuve.
“I’m just hoping they don’t change their minds,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said of the review that upheld the call. “Does it get any more exciting than that? We ended up smiling at the end.”
The loss dropped the Astros to 33-25 this year against teams with a losing record. Houston is 37-25 against teams with a .500 record or better.
“(Taylor) made a mistake,” Houston manager Dusty Baker said. “He had one ball and two strikes and he hung one (to Benintendi leading off the seventh). Then he hung the pitch to Dozier as well that resulted in the two-run homer. They got a number of seeing-eye hits through the course of the game.”
Nicky Lopez had three hits for the Royals. Domingo Tapia (1-0) earned the victory and Scott Barlow picked up his seventh save.
Taylor (2-4) took the loss.
“I wasn’t sitting slider right there,” Dozier said. “He’s a guy who likes to pound fastballs in, really everything in. I was just trying to drive something hard in the gap. I just hit that slider pretty well.”
Neither starter factored in the decision. Zack Greinke gave up one run on five hits over six innings. He didn’t walk or strike out a Royals batter. Brady Singer allowed two runs on six hits in 6 2/3 innings, walking two and striking out six.
“(Singer had) phenomenal movement,” Matheny said. “It seems like it’s different every night how much it’s going to have vertical drop and how much it’s going to have horizontal run. He was really making strong pitches with both of his pitches.”
Neither starter allowed a hit in the first three innings. Singer gave up a walk in the first and then retired the next nine straight before Carlos Correa’s one-out bloop single in the fourth. He got all three batters in the third on called third strikes.
Greinke was perfect through three innings without recording a strikeout. He allowed his first hit in the fourth with one out, a single by Lopez. Salvador Perez followed with a single, sending Lopez to third, and Carlos Santana’s single drove in Lopez.
Singer allowed three hits through six innings before giving up the lead in the seventh. With two outs, he gave up back-to-back hits to Yuli Gurriel and McCormick and walked Jake Meyers. Pinch-hitter Jason Castro singled to center with the bases loaded to give the Astros the lead.
“I got two pretty quick outs there and the ground ball from Gurriel came right back at me,” Singer said. “It was a little bit further than I thought it was. I’m still happy with (my outing).”
The Royals took advantage when Greinke came out of the game. Benintendi led off with a double off Taylor and Dozier followed with his 10th home run of the season to give the Royals the lead.
The Astros will try to salvage the final game of the series. They will send RHP Luis Garcia (9-6, 3.30 ERA) to the mound. Garcia has won his last two starts, allowing two runs in 11 innings. He has never faced the Royals
The Royals will counter with LHP Mike Minor (8-11, 5.35 ERA). Minor is 3-4 with a 4.29 ERA in 16 appearances (13 starts) all-time against the Astros.
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