Altuve’s HR sparks 5-run 9th to deck Royals

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Josh Reddick led off the ninth inning with a walk before Altuve broke a 1-1 tie with his ninth home run, which traveled a projected 430 feet, per Statcast™, his longest of the season. Jake Marisnick added a two-run single.

Royals right-hander Jason Hammel nearly matched McCullers. Hammel threw seven innings and gave up just four hits and one run — that run scoring on a balk. He had no walks and four strikeouts.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
No more no-no: Cain, who grounded into a double play to end the first, took three straight balls from McCullers with one out in the seventh. McCullers then threw a fastball, and Cain jumped on it, sending a drive to left-center that got beyond George Springer for a triple. McCullers struck out Eric Hosmer with the infield in, but Mike Moustakas followed with a sharp single to right and the score was 1-1.

Cain's triple breaks up no-no

Unusual way to score: Hammel was shutting out the Astros until, with runners on first and third and one out in the sixth, he balked in a run. Hammel attempted a quick step throw to first, but appeared to get his feet tangled and he never got the throw off. Norichika Aoki, who had singled leading off the inning, scored and the Astros had a 1-0 lead.

Aoki scores on a balk

AOKI NEARS CAREER MARK
Aoki’s sixth-inning single was the 1,998th of his career combined between his time in Japan (1,284) and the Major Leagues (714). He’s two hits shy of 2,000, which garners automatic entrance into the Meikyu-Kai, or The Golden Players Club.

WHAT’S NEXT
Astros: Right-hander Brad Peacock (3-0, 2.30 ERA) will make his fourth start when the Astros open a nine-game homestand on Friday against the Angels at 7:15 p.m. CT. Peacock has made three straight starts, going 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA, after opening the season in the bullpen.

Royals: Rookie left-hander Eric Skoglund (1-1, 4.32) will make his third Major League start when the Royals take on the Padres to open a nine-game road trip on Friday at 9:10 p.m. CT. Skoglund gave up four runs in two innings during an abbreviated start because of rain his last time out on Sunday.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for M/LB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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