Kansas City shuts out Houston for 2-0 win
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
HOUSTON (AP) — Luke Hochevar pitched into the eighth inning, two relievers completed the shutout, and Billy Butler hit a solo home run to lead the Kansas City Royals to a 2-0 win over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.
Hochevar earned his first victory since May 12. He had four losses and two no-decisions since his previous win.
Hochevar (4-7) pitched no-hit ball into the fifth inning and allowed five hits and struck out six in a season-high 7 2/3 innings. Aaron Crow and closer Jonathan Broxton combined to allow no hits in the last 1 1/3 innings. Broxton earned his 17th save.
Houston starter Wandy Rodriguez (6-5) yielded six hits and two runs in seven innings.
Butler put Kansas City up 1-0 with his two out homer to the Crawford Boxes in left field in the first inning.
Yuniesky Betancourt singled to start the third, and scored on Alcides Escobar’s two-out single that rolled between Jed Lowrie and Jose Altuve and into the outfield to make it 2-0.
Rodriguez settled down after the first three innings and allowed just one hit in the next four innings. He was helped by his defense in the sixth when Justin Maxwell made a leaping catch at the wall in left field to rob Escobar of a hit.
Rodriguez was replaced by Brandon Lyon, who allowed two hits in 1 1/3 innings.
Lowrie walked with two outs in the eighth inning before a single by Carlos Lee chased Hochevar. Lowrie reached third on the hit, which bounced off the wall in left field, and Lee advanced to second on an error by Alex Gordon.
Crow replaced Hochevar and struck out Justin Maxwell to end the inning.
Hochevar didn’t allow a hit until Chris Johnson’s one-out single in the fifth inning, which broke a 0 for 13 skid by the third baseman. Hochevar walked Lee and plunked Brian Bogusevic in the second before walking Rodriguez in the third.
Jason Castro singled after Johnson’s single before Rodriguez was out when Mike Moustakas dived to catch his pop bunt. Hochevar retired Jordan Schafer to end Houston’s threat.
Lowrie drew a walk with one out in the sixth, and Lee doubled down the right field line, but Hochevar escaped trouble again when he struck out Maxwell and Bogusevic.
Notes: Hochevar got his first major league hit with a single in the second inning. ... Houston starter Bud Norris, on the DL with a sprained knee, will throw a light side session on Wednesday. If that goes well he will start for Triple-A Oklahoma on Saturday. ... Royals starter Felipe Paulino, on the DL with a right groin strain, will start a rehabilitation assignment with Double-A Northwest Arkansas on Wednesday. ... Kansas City left-hander Bruce Chen, who turned 35 on Tuesday, will start Wednesday’s finale against Jordan Lyles.