|5:10 PM PT6:10 PM MT7:10 PM CT8:10 PM ET20:10 ET0:10 GMT8:10 5:10 PM MST7:10 PM EST7:40 PM VEN4:10 UAE (+1)7:10 PM CT, May 8, 2019
Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas Attendance: 22,698
Astros turn to Peacock in rubber match against Royals
Kansas City Royals at Houston Astros
- After scoring a season-high 15 runs on Saturday, Kansas City dropped the rubber game of its three-game series in Detroit yesterday, 5-2. The loss gave the Royals their MLB-high eighth series defeat of 2019.
- The Astros swept their two-game series with the Angels in Mexico this weekend with a 14-2 win on Saturday and a 10-4 victory on Sunday. The 24 runs were the most for Houston in any two-game span over the last two seasons, as were its eight home runs that it hit over the two contests.
- Since August 28, 2018, Adalberto Mondesi leads the American League with 52 RBI. Over that same span, he leads all of baseball with 25 stolen bases -- his teammate Whit Merrifield ranks second with 23.
- Alex Bregman went 5-for-10 with three home runs and eight RBI in the two-game set in Mexico, including hitting his third career grand slam yesterday. Bregman had four home runs and 13 RBI over his first 27 games this season but has five homers and 10 RBI over his last five contests.
- After a 10-strikeout effort against the Indians on April 25, Gerrit Cole struck out 10 Twins on April 30 over 7.0 innings, yielding zero runs and just one hit. It is the third time in his career he has posted 10+ strikeouts in consecutive games (three straight from 4/1 - 4/13/18; two straight from 4/29 - 5/4/18).
- Jakob Junis posted his second quality start of the year his last time out, allowing two runs and two hits over 6.1 innings against the Rays. In two career starts against Houston, he is 0-1 while allowing 15 hits, 13 runs (10 earned) and four home runs in 9.0 innings.
- Strasburg has HR, single in 3rd, 5 RBIs
- Giants rally with 2 in 16th, run hits 6
- Sale snaps Fenway skid, BoSox 2-hit Jays
- Springer, Bregman spoil Trout's return
- Boone has profane rant, Yanks sweep Rays
On the heels of fielding a historically effective pitching staff, the Houston Astros took a calculated risk by opening this season with a pair of right-handed relievers as members of their starting rotation.
Both Collin McHugh and Brad Peacock had ample experience as starters prior to this season, but both worked out of the bullpen in 2018 when the Astros set standards for run suppression. And while the Astros entered Tuesday ranked fourth in the majors in ERA (3.60), the results of late for McHugh and Peacock have been spotty, with McHugh scuffling again in his eighth start.
McHugh surrendered eight runs on seven hits and three walks while failing to record an out in the fourth inning in the second game of a three-game set against the Kansas City Royals. After opening the season 3-1 with a 1.96 ERA over his first four starts, McHugh has allowed 24 earned runs over 18 innings and four starts. He has surrendered eight home runs during that stretch after allowing one over his first 23 innings.
"It's been a pretty bad, rough month of starts for me," McHugh said. "It was a rough start again tonight. Put the guys behind the eight ball. I expect more of myself; I know the staff and my team expect more of me. It's a matter of going out there and delivering."
Peacock (2-2, 5.28 ERA) will start the rubber match for the Astros on Wednesday. He allowed seven runs on eight hits and two walks over 3 2/3 innings in an 8-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins on May 2 and has posted a 6.75 ERA while going 0-2 over three starts since his return to the rotation. Peacock has made seven career appearances against the Royals, all in relief, producing a 2.79 ERA and 12 strikeouts over 9 2/3 innings. He has not recorded a decision.
Right-hander Jorge Lopez (0-3, 5.09 ERA) will make his first career appearance against the Astros in the series finale. In two career starts against American League West clubs, with both coming earlier this season, Lopez recorded a pair of no-decisions with a 5.59 ERA against the Seattle Mariners (on April 11) and Los Angeles Angels (April 27). He matched his season high of seven innings in his previous start, a 4-3 loss in Detroit where he allowed four runs on five hits and two walks with six strikeouts. Lopez is 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA on the road this season.
With the Royals' 12-2 win Tuesday, manager Ned Yost recorded his 700th victory with Kansas City. Yost (700-760 in his 10th season with the Royals) is stewarding the club through a protracted rebuild four years removed from a World Series championship and back-to-back American League pennants. The Royals are 71-128 since the start of the 2018 campaign.
"If this was about numbers, I probably would have retired a couple years ago after we won a world championship (in 2015) or the year after. It's not," Yost said. "It's about taking this organization back to a championship-caliber status. What keeps me going is I love the young players and I love working with (general manager) Dayton Moore. It's special that we could accomplish 700 wins together, and we'll continue to try to accomplish as many more as we can."
--Field Level Media
Updated May 8, 2019