KANSAS CITY — The streaking Astros made some history on Saturday afternoon.
Behind a strong outing by lefty Dallas Keuchel and three-run homers by Max Stassi and Alex Bregman, the Astros drubbed the Royals, 10-2, at Kauffman Stadium for their 10th consecutive win, while improving to 9-0 on their season-long 10-game road trip.
It’s the first time in team history the Astros (47-25) have won nine games on a road trip that consisted of 10 games. They are a Major League-best 28-11 on the road and will try for a 10-0 road trip and a series sweep on Sunday.
"These guys are showing up expecting to win, obviously, and going out and doing it," manager AJ Hinch said. "It’s always nice to see us complete series and complete these games with the strength that we are. We’re pitching, we’re playing defense, we’re running the bases pretty well and hitting homers. We’re a hard team to beat, but I like the style of play and the intent is incredible right now."
The Astros are averaging 7.4 runs per game during their 10-game streak, hitting 20 homers in that span. They’ve reached double-digit hits eight times in those 10 games, including six in a row. They’ve scored at least six runs in six consecutive games.
"What we do is we come here and show up and play hard every day, and that’s it," said Bregman, who homered in the ninth. "We compete every at-bat, and winning streak, no winning streak, it doesn’t matter to anybody in here besides the fact we compete every pitch, play our brand of baseball, and we know that if we do that, we’ll have deja vu from what we did last year."
Keuchel (4-8), coming off an outing in which he allowed 13 hits, held the Royals to six hits and no earned runs in six innings for his first win since May 13 against the Rangers. He felt so good with his slider that he threw it 31 times in 101 pitches.
"It was really good," Keuchel said. "I don’t usually toot my own horn, but there was a few I could tell the shape out of my hand were back to normal movement. If we can keep that going, it’s going to be a totally different ballgame."
Keuchel recorded 12 ground-ball outs and struck out five. He didn’t allow a ball to be hit in the air for an out.
"That’s the Dallas Keuchel that he expects himself to be and we’ve become accustomed to," Bregman said. "It’s fun when he pitches like that. It keeps all of us involved. We scored 10 runs and we’re out of here in less than three hours. You know if anyone on our team pitched that game, it was probably Dallas Keuchel."
Jose Altuve had a two-run double in the first inning off Royals starter Danny Duffy, and Marwin Gonzalezhad three hits, including a double that helped the Astros take a 4-0 lead in the fifth. Stassi’s three-run homer in the sixth gave the Astros a 7-2 lead. Stassi and first baseman Yuli Gurriel left the game with dehydration on a hot afternoon in Kansas City.
"A lot of different guys had good at-bats, and Marwin is swinging the bat very well near the bottom [of the batting order] as well," Hinch said.
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
A two-out error by shortstop Carlos Correa in the fifth was followed by three consecutive Royals hits, including an RBI double by Whit Merrifield and an RBI infield hit by Mike Moustakas. Keuchel recovered to strike out Salvador Perez swinging to end the inning. Both runs were unearned because of the error on Correa, who had made two errors in five games on the heels of a 70-game errorless stretch.
"If there’s one guy in the league that’s been more consistent than him, I’m going to have trouble finding that guy," Keuchel of Correa. "He’s right up there with the Gold Glove discussion. We’ve got a few guys up for that."
Altuve is hitting .395 on the road this season and .324 lifetime on the road. The last player with a better lifetime road average than home average was Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn (.334).
The Astros wrap up their season-long 10-game road trip by sending right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. (8-3, 3.83 ERA) to the mound against the Royals at 1:15 p.m. CT on Sunday at Kauffman Stadium. Right-hander Brad Keller (1-2, 2.31) will start for Kansas City.