Lynch shuts down Astros for 7 innings as Royals win 3-1

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Daniel Lynch allowed one run over seven crisp innings, seldom-used Hanser Alberto gave the Royals the lead with a two-run double in the sixth, and Kansas City held on to beat the Houston Astros 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Josh Staumont took over for Lynch and pitched a perfect eighth, and Jake Brentz walked a pair in the ninth before the hard-throwing reliever struck out Chas McCormick and earned his second career save.

Michael Taylor also drove in a run for the Royals, who have followed a frustrating four-game skid by coming from behind to beat the AL West leaders in each of the first two games of their four-game series.

Lynch (3-3) gave up a two-out RBI single to Carlos Correa in the third inning, but Martin Maldonado was thrown out at the plate on the play and Lynch bounced back to retire the side in the fourth. He cruised through the next three innings and allowed four hits and three walks in all while striking out five.

Framber Valdez (8-4) lasted 6 2/3 innings for Houston, permitting three runs on nine hits and a walk.

Unlike the back-and-forth scoring binge of the series opener, when the Royals held on after Salvador Perez's go-ahead, two-run single in the eighth inning, the matchup Tuesday night was headed for an old-school pitchers' duel.

Valdez, who'd cruised to wins in three of his last four starts, allowed a runner each of the first six innings but kept wiggling out of trouble. Taylor's two-out RBI double in the fourth was the only real damage through the first five innings.

Lynch was even better for Kansas City.

The young left-hander's only trouble came when Correa's two-out single in the third brought home Jake Meyers. Otherwise, Lynch set down the Astros in order in the first, fourth and sixth in an impressive display of command.

Valdez finally cracked in the sixth. He gave up a single to Andrew Benintendi and then hit Hunter Dozier with a pitch, and both advanced on Taylor's groundout. Alberto followed with his two-run double to give Kansas City the lead for good.

IRON MAN

Perez made his 1,000th appearance behind the plate for Kansas City, joining Yadier Molina, Kurt Suzuki, Buster Posey and Jonathan Lucroy as the only active catchers in the club. Perez also started his 980th game at catcher, even though he missed the entire 2019 season due to Tommy John surgery and last season was shortened due to COVID-19.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Royals: Benintendi was checked by trainer Nick Kenney in the fourth inning after fouling a pitch off the plate. It appeared as if it ricocheted off his forehead but narrowly missed his face, merely knocking off his helmet.

Astros: DH Yordan Alvarez did not start after he was removed from the series opener with a stomach bug, though manager Dusty Baker said Alvarez might be available off the bench. ... RHP Andre Scrubb (shoulder strain) threw 20 fastballs as he continues to rehab. Scrubb has been out since July 19.

UP NEXT

Astros RHP Zack Greinke (11-3, 3.51 ERA) makes another start against the club that drafted him nearly two decades ago when the teams continue their four-game series Wednesday night. The Royals send RHP Brady Singer (3-8, 5.42) to the mound.

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Dave Skretta, The Associated Press

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