Springer hits slam as Astros pound Royals, Volquez 13-4
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) George Springer was more than just a tablesetter as the Houston Astros' leadoff hitter.
Springer hit a grand slam and a triple in Houston's nine-run first inning against Edinson Volquez, and the Astros routed the Kansas City Royals 13-4 on Friday night. Springer, who finished with five RBIs, tops the majors with three grand slams this season.
''That's not really something you're really thinking about,'' Springer said of his grand slam and triple in the Astros' big first. ''I was just hoping we could come out of here with a good win to start off the trip.''
Colby Rasmus had four hits, including a homer in the eighth, scored three runs and drove in two. Marwin Gonzalez, Carlos Gomez, Jason Castro and Rasmus all had RBI singles in the first off Volquez (7-7), who retired only three of the 15 batters he faced with 12 scoring, ballooning his ERA more than a full run to 5.15.
He gave up 12 runs, 11 earned, and eight hits and walked three. Rasmus scored the other run on Alcides Escobar's error.
''The whole story of the game is the first couple of innings and the quality of at-bats we put up,'' Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. ''We did a lot of things right that first inning and took advantage of a mistake, a lot of singles and a big hit by George obviously to separate the game. We did a good job of tacking on run after run after run.''
The last time the Astros scored nine in the first inning was July 10, 2003, against Cincinnati. The Royals last allowed nine or more in the first on Sept. 23, 2006, when Detroit scored 10.
The huge lead made it easy for Dallas Keuchel, the 2015 American League Cy Young Award winner, to pick up only his second victory since April 15 and first since May 28.
''I'll take it,'' Keuchel said. ''I'm not complaining. My job was to go out there and fill up the zone. I'm not very happy with the stat line, but that game calls for that type of scenario, which is exactly what I did.''
Keuchel (4-9) gave up four runs and 11 hits, including home runs to Escobar and Cheslor Cuthbert. Escobar's homer was his first since Aug. 21.
Volquez was removed in the second when he walked Carlos Correa and Gomez, sandwiched around Rasmus' single to load the bases without getting an out. All three wound up scoring off reliever Dillon Gee, but the runs were charged to Volquez.
''He just wasn't very good,'' Royals manager Ned Yost said of Volquez. ''He gave up the triple, I'm thinking, `OK, give up the one run and we'll be all right' and then, boom, next thing it's three, then it's five, then it's nine. So, it was just one of those nights where really nothing was working for him.''
ASTROS PROMOTE REED
After the game, Hinch said the Astros are bringing up 1B A.J. Reed, one of the team's top prospects, from Triple-A Fresno, where he has hit .372 in his past 10 games to raise his average to .266 with 11 home runs. Hinch said Reed would DH Saturday. They optioned OF Tony Kemp to Fresno.
IF Raul Mondesi, who became the first player to make his major league debut in the World Series when he struck out as a pinch hitter in Game 3 at Citi Field, will begin a rehab assignment Saturday with Single-A Wilmington. Mondesi, the Royals' top prospect, was suspended 50 games on May 10 after testing positive for Clenbuterol, a performance-enhancing drug. He is scheduled to return July 4 to Double-A Northwest Arkansas.
Astros: 3B Luis Valbuena left after one inning with left lower back tightness.
Royals: LF Alex Gordon (broken right wrist) played in his fifth rehab game Friday with Triple-A Omaha and is close to coming off the disabled list. ''Alex is doing fine,'' Royals manager Ned Yost said. ''We'll re-evaluate after tonight. We'll be anxious to get him back.''
Astros: RHP Mike Fiers (5-3) is 0-2 with a 7.36 ERA in two career starts against the Royals.
Royals: RHP Chris Young (2-6) leads the majors with 19 home runs allowed.