Astros score 5 in 9th to top Royals 6-1

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Offensively, Jose Altuve leads Houston with 74 hits and 29 RBI while Carlos Correa and George Springer have combined for 128 hits and 78 RBI. "I know he's sore", Hinch said.

Astros: RHP Joe Musgrove (shoulder discomfort) threw a bullpen Thursday and could come off the DL and start Monday against Texas. Keuchel was scratched from his scheduled start Wednesday against the Royals due to what was originally described as an illness. That plays a significant factor into this point because they're aiming to get 5-6 innings out of the Brad Peacock and David Paulino spot starts, and getting Mike Fiers to pitch effectively deep into games is asking a lot.

Herrera's ERA jumped to 5.55 as he gave up four runs in one-third of an inning. I've heard a few conflicting opinions, including a conversation on The Ringer's MLB Show podcast last week, where some analysts believe the team can get by with what they have.

"He went back to the hotel". Cheslor Cuthbert, Alcides Escobar and Lorenzo Cain all had their way with him, putting the Royals up 3-1 by the bottom of the 3rd and taking his fastball to task.

As Earl Weaver once said: "Momentum is the next day's starting pitcher".

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The Royals had answered the Astros, who got on the board in the second on Brian McCann's solo home run to center. Whit Merrifield hit a three-run double with two outs in the inning to tie it at 7. He gave up six hits, a walk and a hit batter as his ERA moved to 2.18 on the season.

The Astros scored three runs (two unearned) in the eighth inning to cut into the Royals' five-run advantage.

The pitching showdown Wednesday between Jason Vargas and Dallas Keuchel never materialized because Keuchel didn't materialize. Ramon Torres, who was called up from Omaha, also finished with 2 hits including an RBI double. Guduan had a 9.00 ERA over three innings in three relief appearances.

Right-hander Collin McHugh, on the disabled list since the end of spring with a posterior impingement in his right elbow, has thrown about 15-20 pitches off the mound four times - fastballs and changeups only - and he hopes to work in some breaking balls this week. 3B Marwin Gonzalez (bruised left hand) was not in the lineup, but was available to pinch hit.

Royals: RHP Jason Hammel has limited opponents to a.220 average with runners in scoring position.