May 16, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie (11) delivers a pitch against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Collin McHugh Baffles Kansas City Royals with Curve

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Houston starter Collin McHugh spun 7 shutout innings at the Royals Tuesday night, giving up only 5 hits and striking out 9 on the way to a 3-0 Astros victory at Kauffman Stadium.

McHugh did most of his damage with his low 70’s curveball, which Kansas City Royals hitters failed to figure out all night.

.Kansas City’s offensive futility squandered a Houdini-like performance from Jeremy Guthrie, who stranded 9 baserunners while holding the Astros to 1 run over 6 innings.

The loss drops the Royals to 3 games under .500 at 24-27, and ensures that the team will lose their third straight series. Kansas City is now 6.5 games behind Detroit in the Central, and they have fallen to 4th place.

On the Mound

Jeremy Guthrie pitched 6.0 innings, giving up 7 hits, 3 walks, and 1 run with 5 strikeouts. He kept the Royals in the game, with a little help from his defense. Kansas City infielders turned two double plays behind him to get out of jams in the 3rd and 5th innings.

Guthrie has now made 9 straight starts without recording a win, as his record fell to 2-4, with a 4.14 ERA.

Aaron Crow gave up 1 hit in the 7th, but held the Astros scoreless in one inning of work.

Tim Collins allowed two runs in the 8th. The first came on a suicide-squeeze play where Collins threw a wild pitch, which caused the run to go into the books as a steal of home. Alex Presley followed with a sacrifice fly to score the second run.

Kelvin Herrera escaped the 9th without allowing a run, despite giving up 2, two-out singles.

At the Plate

There isn’t really much of a story to tell when a team gets shut out like the Royals. They finished the night with 5 singles, no walks, and 11 strikeouts vs. Astro pitching. Every hitter in the lineup recorded at least one strikeout while getting shut out for the 4th time this season.

Something has got to change, because this offense is just not cutting it.

This and That

The Astros have now won 4 straight on the road—despite having the worst record in the American League.

Lorenzo Cain made his first error of the season when he bobbled Matt Domiguez’s single to center.

Royals manager Ned Yost got tossed in the 6th inning for questioning balls and strikes. He went out to confer with pitcher Jeremy Guthrie with the bases loaded and two-outs, and immediately turned toward the home plate umpire Kerwin Danley when he came to the mound to move things along.

Danley must not have liked what Yost had to say, because he immediately tossed the Royals skipper.

Tuesday did bring some good news on the medical front. Yordano Ventura’s MRI came back showing no damage to his ulnar collateral ligament after he suffered elbow pain on Monday night. The team expects Ventura to miss no more than one start.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

Jeremy Guthrie gets our award, for keeping his team in the game through 6 innings. It’s not his fault that Kansas City hitters couldn’t even get him one run to work with.

 The Astros

Houston has now won 4 four straight on the road, after dropping 6 straight at home coming into their series in Kansas City.

Rookie top-prospect George Springer failed to hit a home run for the 1st time in four games. Springer leads the Astros in slugging with a .493 mark.

Alex Presley was a perfect 3-3 on the night, with 1 RBI on his sacrifice fly in the 8th.

Up Next

The Royals will attempt to salvage the last game of the series with the Astros in a Wednesday afternoon game. The Royals will send Danny Duffy (2-4, 2.59 ERA) to the mound against Houston’s Jarred Cosart (3-4, 4.39 ERA). Game time is 1:10 CST at Kauffman Stadium.

Box

Astros Batting AB R H RBI BB SO BA OPS
Jose Altuve 2B 5 0 1 0 0 1 .320 .798
George Springer RF 4 0 1 0 1 0 .268 .843
Dexter Fowler DH 4 1 1 0 1 0 .265 .752
Jason Castro C 4 1 2 0 1 2 .235 .703
Matt Dominguez 3B 5 0 1 1 0 1 .247 .703
Marc Krauss 1B 2 0 0 0 0 1 .178 .596
   Jesus Guzman PH-1B 0 1 0 0 1 0 .204 .576
Robbie Grossman LF 4 0 2 0 0 0 .140 .533
Alex Presley CF 3 0 3 1 0 0 .250 .629
Marwin Gonzalez SS 4 0 1 0 0 0 .300 .744
Team Totals 35 3 12 2 4 5 .343 .786

2B: J Castro (7, off T Collins).
SF: A Presley (2, off T Collins).
HBP: M Krauss (1, by J Guthrie).
TB: J Castro 3; A Presley 3; R Grossman 2; M Dominguez; M Gonzalez; G Springer; D Fowler; J Altuve.
GIDP: J Altuve (6); M Gonzalez (2); D Fowler (3).
RBI: A Presley (8); M Dominguez (22).
Team LOB: 11.
With RISP: 3 for 11.
Baserunning
SB: R Grossman (2, 2nd base off T Collins/S Perez).

Royals Batting AB R H RBI BB SO BA OPS
Nori Aoki RF 4 0 0 0 0 1 .269 .647
Omar Infante 2B 4 0 1 0 0 1 .266 .712
Eric Hosmer 1B 4 0 0 0 0 1 .275 .691
Billy Butler DH 4 0 0 0 0 2 .240 .606
Alex Gordon LF 4 0 1 0 0 1 .276 .736
Salvador Perez C 3 0 1 0 0 1 .259 .717
Lorenzo Cain CF 3 0 1 0 0 1 .327 .775
Alcides Escobar SS 3 0 0 0 0 2 .261 .670
Jimmy Paredes 3B 3 0 1 0 0 1 .250 .500
Team Totals 32 0 5 0 0 11 .156 .313

TB: S Perez; A Gordon; J Paredes; L Cain; O Infante.
Team LOB: 5.
With RISP: 0 for 4.
Fielding
DP: 3. A Escobar-O Infante-E Hosmer; E Hosmer-A Escobar-E Hosmer; J Paredes-O Infante-E Hosmer.
E: L Cain (1).

Astros Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA Pit Str
Collin McHugh, W (3-3) 7 5 0 0 0 9 0 2.80 102 68
Tony Sipp, H (3) 1.1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 12 9
Chad Qualls 0.2 0 0 0 0 1 0 2.93 8 5
Team Totals 9 5 0 0 0 11 0 0.00 122 82
Royals Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA Pit Str
Jeremy Guthrie, L (2-4) 6 7 1 1 3 5 0 4.14 105 67
Aaron Crow 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2.49 8 4
Tim Collins 1 2 2 2 1 0 0 6.75 26 15
Kelvin Herrera 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 1.88 14 9
Team Totals 9 12 3 3 4 5 0 3.00 153 95
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Tags: Collin McHugh Jeremy Guthrie Kansas City Royals

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