MLB Kyle Tucker helps Astros defeat Royals

Kyle Tucker had a solo homer and a key RBI single late in the game, and Yordan Alvarez added a home run and a triple and scored three runs as the visiting Houston Astros beat the Kansas City Royals 7-4 Sunday in the rubber game of their three-game series.

Framber Valdez (6-2) earned the win, allowing two runs on four hits in six innings while striking out five and walking three. Rafael Montero got the final out, coaxing a base-loaded groundout in the ninth, to garner his fourth save of the season.

Houston finished a nine-game trip with six wins on stops in Seattle, Oakland and Kansas City. The Astros have won six of their past seven games and have opened a season-high 8 1/2-game lead on the second-place Los Angeles Angels in the American League West after 54 games, 34 of them on the road, at the one-third point of the season.

The Astros manufactured a run in the third to take a 1-0 lead Sunday. Jose Altuve legged out a one-out bloop double, went to third on a wild pitch by Royals starter Jonathan Heasley, and scored on a sacrifice fly to center field by Mauricio Dubon.

Houston added to its advantage in the fourth. Alvarez tripled into the right-field corner and raced home on another wild pitch by Heasley. Tucker then homered to dead-center to stake the Astros to a 3-0 lead.

Kansas City pulled to 3-2 in the sixth on Salvador Perez’s two-run home run to center that scored Bobby Witt Jr.

Alvarez’s home run to right field leading off the eighth off reliever Arodys Vizcaino pushed the Astros’ lead to 4-2. Perez’s double into the left-field corner in the bottom of the frame off Hector Neris scored Witt Jr. and again cut Houston’s advantage to one run.

But Tucker, Yuli Gurriel and Jeremy Pena had two-out singles in the ninth inning that drove home Dubon, Alvarez and Tucker, respectively, and provided the Astros a trio of insurance runs.

Heasley (0-3) took the loss, surrendering three runs on seven hits and two walks in six innings. He struck out five and racked up a career-high 102 pitches.

–Field Level Media

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