KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Evan Gattis hit a go-ahead grand slam, Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa also went deep and the Houston Astros beat the Kansas City Royals 7-3 on a balmy Friday night for their ninth consecutive win.
Charlie Morton (8-1) overcame another bout of wildness, at one point walking three straight batters, to last six innings for Houston. He allowed four hits and four walks while striking out nine.
Brad Peacock, Tony Sipp and Collin McHugh each contributed a scoreless inning in relief.
Jakob Junis (5-7) served up all three Houston homers, getting tagged for six runs on seven hits and a walk. It was his fourth straight loss, his last win coming against the New York Yankees on May 18.
All but one of the Astros’ wins during their streak has come on the road.
The Royals tried to give Junis some support early, jumping ahead 2-0 in the third on a two-out double by Mike Moustakas. It was a buoying at-bat considering the meek-hitting Kansas City lineup managed a single run in getting swept by Cincinnati during a two-game set this week.
It appeared the lead just might stand, too. Junis retired the first 13 batters he faced.
Bregman changed all that with his ninth homer of the season, a shot that just skirted the left-field foul pole. Correa added his 455-foot home run two batters later to tie the game.
Morton’s wildness allowed the Royals to regain the lead in the fifth, but Junis coughed it back up in the sixth. He gave up three straight one-out singles to load the bases for Gattis, whose 405-foot grand slam was the second of his career and third by the Astros this season.
It was also the second slam permitted by the Royals in their last two games.
Houston recalled 3B Tyler White from Triple-A Fresno and placed LHP Reymin Guduan on the paternity leave list. White was hitting .338 with 13 homers and a .444 on-base percentage, the second-highest in all of Triple-A. Guduan can miss no more than three games while on the paternity list.
Kansas City selected the contract of RHP Brandon Maurer from Triple-A Omaha and optioned RHP Jason Adam to the same club. Maurer was 0-2 with a 12.46 ERA for the Royals before he was sent outright to the minor league club on May 3. He’s worked 11 straight scoreless appearances at Omaha.
Astros RHP Joe Smith (elbow inflammation) rejoined the team, and manager A.J. Hinch said the reliever is “pain free and the next step is to initiate a throwing program.” That could happen by the end of the weekend.
Royals OF Jorge Soler left after stumbling out of the batter’s box in the sixth inning. He was taken for X-rays that revealed a broken left foot. Ryan Goins replaced him in the lineup.
Struggling LHP Dallas Keuchel (3-8, 4.45 ERA) starts for the Astros and LHP Danny Duffy (3-6, 5.28) gets the nod for the Royals for a Saturday matinee with temperatures expected to approach triple digits.
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