KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — George Springer hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the ninth inning, Gerrit Cole win his 13th straight decision and the Houston Astros beat the Kansas City Royals 4-1 Friday night to stop a three-game losing streak.
Kyle Tucker singled with one out in the ninth of Heath Fillmyer (0-2) and pinch-hitter Michael Brantley walked. Josh Reddick struck out and Springer followed with his 35th homer.
Cole (17-5) struck out 11 in eight innings, reaching double figures for the sixth straight start, and allowed an unearned run and four hits. He is 13-0 in 19 starts since losing to the Chicago White Sox on May 22, the longest streak of consecutive winning decisions in one season Stephen Strasburg for Washington in 2013.
Roberto Osuna worked around a two-out single for his 33rd save in 39 chances.
Jose Altuve hit his 28th home run in the first inning, breaking the Astros record for home runs by a second baseman, set by Jeff Kent in 2004. It was Altuve’s 10th hit in 23 career at-bats (.435) against Danny Duffy but his first homer.
Duffy allowed one run and four hits in six innings, throwing 54 of his 108 pitches in the first two inning.
Meibrys Viloria hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth after Bubba Starling singled, stole second and took third on catcher Martin Maldonado’s throwing error.
Royals left fielder Alex Gordon leaped near the wall to grab Kyle’s Tucker’s drive in the second inning, then made a diving catch of Tucker’s liner to the gap in the seventh.
Royals manager Ned Yost and Gordon, who was just called out on strikes, were ejected by plate umpire Lance Barrett after the seventh inning.
Astros RHP Zack Greinke (15-5, 2.99 ERA) returns to his old home Saturday, matched with Royals LHP Mike Montgomery (3-8, 4.77 ERA). Since leaving the Royals after the 2010 season, Greinke started at Kauffman four times for four other teams. He had no decisions in 2012 with the Brewers and then the Angels, and losses in 2014 with the Dodgers and 2017 with the Diamondbacks. Greinke was 36-28 at Kauffman during seven seasons with Kansas City. Greinke is 5-1 with a 3.22 ERA in seven starts for the Astros after being obtained from the D-backs.