Merrifield has 3 RBIs, Perez homers as KC downs Astros 7-1

Aug 23, 2021, 9:01 AM | Updated: 9:58 pm

HOUSTON (AP) — Whit Merrifield had three hits and three RBIs, Salvador Perez extended a career high with his 33rd homer and the Kansas City Royals beat the Houston Astros 7-1 on Monday night.

The Royals have won seven of their last eight games, taking three of four from Houston at home last week before sweeping the Chicago Cubs this past weekend.

“We’re building off of yesterday and each day we just take something positive that we’ve been doing,” manager Mike Matheny said.

Perez has 81 RBIs this season, which leads the team and is a career best, eclipsing the 80 he had in both 2017 and 2018. He got back on track against the AL West leaders after going 0 for 5 on Sunday.

Merrifield had an RBI double in the seventh inning and drove in two more with a triple in Kansas City’s three-run eighth.

Kansas City rookie starter Daniel Lynch (4-3) yielded six hits and one run with three walks in five innings for his third straight win.

“We had good at-bats, but it always starts with starting pitching and Daniel was fantastic,” Matheny said.

Houston manager Dusty Baker is disappointed his team has dropped four of five in the season series against a team with a losing record.

“They’re hot and feeling pretty good about themselves,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s the softer part of the schedule as far as everybody is concerned. They don’t feel like the softer part of the schedule.”

The Royals got a double from Ryan O’Hearn in the second and took a 1-0 lead when he scored on a ground-rule double by Emmanuel Rivera with two outs.

The homer by Perez off Zack Greinke (11-4) came in the third to make it 2-0.

Taylor Jones singled and Martín Maldonado walked to start the Houston third. Michael Brantley grounded into a force out before Yuli Gurriel doubled to score Jones and cut the lead to 2-1.

The Astros loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth, but Yordan Alvarez grounded out.

“(Lynch) seemed to just really make quality pitches in counts where a lot of pitchers aren’t going to be able to execute,” Matheny said. “Just a really impressive mix.”

Greinke permitted six hits and two runs in six innings.

Yimi Garcia took over for him and walked Michael A. Taylor to start the seventh before Rivera singled. Merrifield doubled on a grounder down the third-base line just out of the reach of a diving Aledmys Díaz to score Taylor and make it 3-1.

Perez hit a grounder to Garcia, but his throw home sailed over catcher Martin Maldonado’s head for an error that allowed Rivera to score. Perez initially advanced to second on the play and was called safe, but the Astros challenged the ruling and it was overturned after a replay review.

The Astros scored 27 runs combined in wins over Seattle on Friday and Saturday but have struggled to take advantage of scoring opportunities in their last two games. They went 3 for 16 with runners in scoring position in a 6-3 loss to the Mariners in 11 innings Sunday and were 1 for 9 in those situations Monday.

Houston certainly isn’t happy with its recent results against the Royals, but the Astros remained 3 1/2 games ahead of second-place Oakland and are trying to keep things in perspective.

“I don’t think it’s a huge deal,” Gurriel said through a translator. “It’s better that we have a bad stretch now than at the end of the season.”


Royals: 1B Carlos Santana exited in the ninth after he was injured running to first base on a force out. Matheny said Santana has a Grade 1 hip strain and is day to day. … RHP Kyle Zimmer was activated from the injured list after missing about three weeks with neck spasms. … LHP Jake Brentz was placed on the injured list with a left shoulder injury.

Astros: OF Chas McCormick was out of the lineup for a third straight game because of soreness in his left hand. … 3B Alex Bregman (strained left quadriceps) had three hits for Triple-A Sugar Land in a rehab game. He will return to Houston on Tuesday to be evaluated before the team determines if he’s ready to be activated. … RHP José Urquidy (right shoulder discomfort) will make a rehabilitation start for Sugar Land on Tuesday night.


It was Merrifield’s 36th multi-hit game, tied with Perez for most on the team.


Kansas City’s Brady Singer (3-8, 5.23 ERA) opposes Luis Garcia (9-6, 3.39) when the series continues Tuesday night.


More AP MLB: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Dallas Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown (3) strips the ball from New York Giants wide receiver Ster...
Associated Press

Veteran Giants receiver Sterling Shepard has torn ACL

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Veteran wide receiver Sterling Shepard tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on the New York Giants’ final offensive play in their loss to the Dallas Cowboys, coach Brian Daboll said Tuesday. Daboll had indicated after Monday night’s game that the injury to New York’s leading receiver was […]
1 day ago
Stephen F. Austin safety JaTerious Evans brings down the Warner quarterback for a sack during an NC...
Associated Press

‘Whoa, 98-0’: Coach of team on end of huge loss OK with it

Two days after his Warner University football team lost 98-0 to Stephen F. Austin in one of the most lopsided games of all time, Dialleo Burks channeled his inner P.T. Barnum. Like the 19th-century circus impresario once said, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. It was in that vein that Burks recalled a conversation […]
1 day ago
United States' Kahleah Copper runs past South Korea's Heo Yeeun during their game at the women's Ba...
Associated Press

Kahleah Copper’s FIBA diary: Rest, rest, rest

SYDNEY (AP) — Rest, rest and more rest. There’s been a lot of basketball in a short time and finding time to recover has been key to staying fresh and having success. You have to take care of your body. I have to give a huge thank you to the training staff of Courtney (Watson), […]
1 day ago
NASCAR driver Kurt Busch, foreground, helps paint the pit wall pink during 10th annual recognition ...
Associated Press

Kurt Busch hopeful he can return from concussion this year

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Kurt Busch said Tuesday he remains “hopeful” he will recover from a concussion in time to race again before the end of the NASCAR season. The 2004 Cup champion has been sidelined since he crashed July 23 during qualifying at Pocono Raceway. He’s so far missed 10 races — both Ty […]
1 day ago
South Florida head coach Jeff Scott, left, and Florida head coach Billy Napier greet each other at ...
Associated Press

Florida, USF, South Carolina move home games ahead of Ian

Florida’s home football game against Eastern Washington scheduled for Saturday has been moved to Sunday because of Hurricane Ian, which is expected to hit the state’s southwest coast on Wednesday. The Gators and Eagles will kick off at noon in Gainesville shortly before NFL games around the country. Playing the game guarantees Eastern Washington a […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Royal silks back in British horse racing after queen’s death

LONDON (AP) — The famous royal silks are returning to British horse racing for the first time since the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Taking to the track under the ownership of the queen’s heir, King Charles III, Educator will don the purple, red and gold silks for a race at Salisbury on Thursday. Educator […]
1 day ago
Merrifield has 3 RBIs, Perez homers as KC downs Astros 7-1