Rookie right-hander Luis Garcia carried a shutout into the seventh inning, two relievers kept it intact the rest of the way, and the Houston Astros capitalized on two early errors in their 4-0 win over the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday.
Garcia (10-6) became the third Houston starter to reach double digits in victories, joining Zack Greinke (11-4) and Lance McCullers Jr. (10-4). He did so by posting the longest scoreless outing of his career, logging 6 2/3 innings while surrendering four hits and one walk with seven strikeouts.
Garcia retired the first six batters he faced before enduring the toughest stretch of his start. Royals center fielder Michael A. Taylor socked a leadoff double off the scoreboard in left field in the third inning, the first of four batters to reach safely against Garcia in a seven-batter stretch.
Garcia helped limit the damage by not panicking when Taylor, at third following a Jarrod Dyson walk and a double steal, attempted to swipe home with two outs and Nicky Lopez at the plate. Garcia calmly threw the ball to catcher Jason Castro, who applied the tag on Taylor.
Following a one-out single by Royals left fielder Andrew Benintendi in the fourth that left runners on first and second, Garcia retired nine consecutive batters.
Garcia capped his appearance with a strikeout of Ryan O’Hearn having tossed 90 pitches, 60 for strikes.
Garcia is 3-0 and has not allowed any runs while striking out 23 batters in 18 2/3 innings over his last three home starts.
Royals right-hander Brady Singer (3-9) was undone by his defense in the first inning. Astros second baseman Jose Altuve reached on a fielding error by O’Hearn at first base and later scored on a Carlos Correa groundout.
Yuli Gurriel, who walked to load the bases, later scored when the Lopez, the second baseman, compounded a run-scoring infield single by Aledmys Diaz with a throwing error for a 3-0 deficit.
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Gurriel scored again in the third when Correa followed his leadoff single with a double to center.
Singer pitched around traffic throughout his five innings, allowing four runs (one earned) on seven hits and four walks with six strikeouts. He is winless over his last 11 starts.
–Field Level Media