Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch watched his team load the bases in front of hot-hitting Evan Gattis http://www.greenbaypackersteamonline.com/aaron-rodgers-jersey , and all he wanted was the big designated hitter to send a drive to the outfield and keep the line moving.
Hinch had to settle for one that cleared the fence.
Cleared the bases, too.
Gattis crushed a go-ahead grand slam in the sixth inning Friday night, Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa also went deep, and the Astros rolled past the Kansas City Royals 7-3 for their ninth straight win.
”We’re shaking hands after a lot of his at-bats,” Hinch said of Gattis, who has five homers in the first eight games of the Astros’ road trip. ”When guys are hot, there’s a ton of energy and a ton of fun.”
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 to wrap up the Astros’ latest win. All but one during their streak has come away from Minute Maid Park.
”I think our guys are just methodically going through their days,” Hinch said. ”This is a long road trip and it’s a lot more fun when you’re winning.”
The Royals, meanwhile, have lost four straight and 10 of 11.
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.
”We were putting some really good swings on it. We were hitting some balls hard Marquis Haynes Color Rush Jersey ,” Morton said with a grin. ”Really, I was just waiting for the dam to break.”
The Royals gave 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 might stand, too, the way Junis breezed through the first three innings.
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 soaring, 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.
”I was hoping we would get either a flyout or a mishit. I didn’t think I left it right over the plate,” Junis said. ”I thought it was up and away. He just put a good swing on it.”
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 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. He was taken for X-rays that revealed a broken left foot. ”It will be awhile when your feet are hurt,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. ”They’re going to give it a CT scan or whatever. We’ll have a better idea. X-rays showed a positive break. We don’t think it’s a surgical thing right now. The CT scan will give us more of a look.”
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.
TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays needed a solid outing by their bullpen Tuesday night and a not-so-good performance by the New York Mets relievers to eke out an 8-6 victory.
The Blue Jays (40-45) will try to complete a sweep of the two-game interleague set Wednesday when they send out right-hander Marcus Stroman (1-5 http://www.greenbaypackersteamonline.com/blake-martinez-jersey , 6.02 ERA) at the Rogers Centre. The struggling Mets (33-49) will start right-hander Corey Oswalt (0-1, 9.82), who will be making his second career major league start.
The teams split two games at Citi Field on May 15 and 16.
After trailing 5-0 and 6-1 on Tuesday, the Blue Jays rallied to tie on a three-run homer by Yangervis Solarte in a five-run seventh and won it on a two-run homer by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. in the eighth.
The Blue Jays will need a solid start from Stroman, who will be making his third start since returning from the disabled list after being sidelined with inflammation of the right shoulder. It would help a well-used bullpen if he could pitch deep into the game.
They lost their starter Tuesday, right-hander Marco Estrada, after one-third of an inning. After giving up a two-run homer to Asdrubal Cabrera, Estrada made two pitches to the next batter before leaving with a sore left hip. X-rays were negative, but the extent of the injury was not known.
The Blue Jays needed seven relievers to work through the game. There likely will be a roster move before the game on Wednesday. Seunghwan Oh was the only reliever not to pitch for the Blue Jays.
The victory spoiled the return of former Blue Jays star Jose Bautista, who was playing in Toronto for the first time since last season. He received a standing ovation and in five plate appearances, he had three walks and a single. He also committed a two-base error in right field, letting a single get past him in the seventh inning.
The Mets, who have lost 11 of their last 13 games, also had an injury Tuesday. Catcher Devin Mesoraco, who hit a two-run homer in the second inning http://www.greenbaypackersteamonline.com/clay-matthews-jersey , left the game in the bottom of the seventh after being hit on the helmet by an errant pitch and by a backswing in consecutive innings. Manager Mickey Callaway said that he had passed concussion protocol so far. Kevin Plawecki took over behind the plate.
Stroman, who experienced shoulder problems in spring training, has come on strong after being on the disabled list from May 9-June 22.
He pitched five runless innings on his return June 23, allowing six hits against the Los Angeles Angels. He came back Friday to hold the Detroit Tigers to two runs (one earned) and four hits over seven innings to earn his first win of the season.
“I’m just back to being myself,” Stroman said. “That wasn’t me earlier in the year, so I’m just happy to be back. Body feels good, I feel in sync. Everything’s coming out very easily.”
Stroman has never faced the Mets. He will, however, be facing a former teammate in Bautista.
“It will be fun,” Bautista said.
They have faced each other in one game.
Stroman, pitching for the United States, faced Bautista, who was playing for the Dominican Republic, in March, 2017 http://www.greenbaypackersteamonline.com/davante-adams-jersey , during the World Baseball Classic. Bautista fouled out and struck out. It was the only time they have faced each other competitively.
“I think I’ve given him too many secrets over the years, it will be interesting,” Bautista said.
Oswalt, in his first career start Friday, allowed six runs and six hits in 2 2/3 innings in an 8-2 loss to the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park.
He was starting on short notice.
Callaway said he was having trouble with his breaking pitches.
“I think that even in the first two innings he didn’t have any of his breaking stuff,” Callaway said after the game. “So, I think they kind of figured out he was struggling with getting that stuff over, so they were just sitting on fastballs and they put a few in play.”
The 24-year-old made 10 starts at Triple-A Las Vegas, going 4-4 with a 5.32 ERA. In four stints with the Mets, he has made two appearances. He made his major league debut April 26 in St. Louis against the Cardinals, allowing two earned runs in 4 2/3 innings.
The Mets are 6-9 in Toronto all time.