Salvador Perez’s two-out, two-run single in the eighth inning lifted the host Kansas City Royals past the Houston Astros 7-6 in the opener of a four-game series.
Scott Barlow (5-3) earned the win despite giving up a run in 1 2/3 innings. Yimi Garcia (3-8) took the loss.
Whit Merrifield had three hits, Nicky Lopez stole three bases and Hunter Dozier added a solo homer for the Royals, who snapped a four-game losing streak.
Jason Castro homered with one out in the ninth to draw Houston to within one run, but Barlow retired Jake Meyers and Jose Altuve to close out the victory. Altuve went 3-for-5 while Carlos Correa and Aledmys Diaz each had a homer and a single for the Astros, who have lost two in a row.
Both starters took no-decisions with similar lines. Houston’s Jake Odorizzi gave up four runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings, while Kansas City’s Carlos Hernandez allowed four runs on eight hits in six-plus innings.
The Astros got a run off Hernandez in the first. Altuve hit the first pitch he saw to left for a double. He was still at second with two outs before Yordan Alvarez hit an RBI single to left.
Kansas City’s Andrew Benintendi led off the second with a single and scored on Ryan O’Hearn’s double to left. O’Hearn was at third with one out but was retired at home on another fielder’s choice. Emmanuel Rivera singled Hunter Dozier to second, and Merrifield singled home Dozier with a two-out single.
O’Hearn gave the Royals a 3-1 lead in the third with an RBI single, scoring Perez.
Diaz led off the fifth with a home run to left to draw the Astros to within one run. With two outs in the inning, Meyers was hit by a pitch, Altuve singled and Michael Brantley stroked an RBI single through the middle to tie the score.
Correa then put Houston back in front with a 430-foot line drive home run in the sixth.
Dozier launched a 431-foot bomb to left center with one out in the bottom of the sixth to level the score at 4-4.
Kansas City’s Nicky Lopez led off the seventh with a walk and then stole second and third. Carlos Santana hit an RBI single with one out against the shift.
The Astros tied it again with a two-out single by Diaz in the eighth.
In the bottom of the eighth, Merrifield singled, Lopez singled him to third and then Lopez stole second. Perez’s single to right knocked in both runners.
–Field Level Media