David Ross could have been retired twice in his second-inning at-bat against Kyle Lohse on Friday. Fortunately for him, he got a couple of breaks before turning a changeup into a two-run homer, giving the Braves an early 2-0 lead over the Cardinals.
Lohse’s 1-1 pitch to Ross was a fastball popped up down the first-base line. Allen Craig made his way towards the stands, only to pull up a little short and alligator arm the ball in the end. Had he been more aggressive, he may well have caught it.
That made it 1-2. Lohse then threw a changeup than Ross swung through, but the umpire had called time, apparently at Ross’s request. Ross, not knowing if it would be granted, stayed in the box and swung at the pitch. He got the good news afterwards.
Lohse then went right back to the changeup for some reason. It proved to be a huge mistake, as Ross deposited it over the wall in left-center.
The Astros rallied late to keep their winning streak alive, extending it to 11 games with a 7-4 victory over the Royals on Sunday afternoon. The club is now 48-25, leading the Mariners by a full game in the AL West.
The Royals took a 4-2 lead after three innings, but Brian McCann knocked in a run with a single in the top of the fourth to cut the deficit to one run. Carlos Correa hit a game-tying solo home run in the eighth. The Astros kept their foot on the gas, scoring two more runs on RBI singles from Evan Gattis and Marwin Gonzalez in the top of the eighth and another in the top of the ninth on Correa’s sacrifice fly.
Starter Lance McCullers allowed four runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks with nine strikeouts over six innings. Tony Sipp worked a scoreless seventh. Ken Giles did the same in the eighth. Hector Rondon finished off the win in the ninth, working around a one-out walk with a game-ending double play.
After winning all 10 games on their road trip against the Rangers, Athletics, and Royals, the Astros will head home for a nine-game homestand against the Rays, Royals, and Blue Jays. Each club is below .500.