Luke Hochevar (3-7, 6.27) vs Wandy Rodriguez (6-4, 3.35)
Luke Hochevar pitched like the 1-1 draft pick Kansas City hoped they were getting six years ago, and a first inning solo shot by Billy Butler off Wandy turned out to be all that the Royals would need. Astros are blanked, 2-0, and fall to 28-40 on the year.
*Aside from that first inning homer, Wandy scattered five singles and two walks over seven innings, only allowing one additional run on a 2-out RBI single to Alcides Escobar in the third. The offense never put anything together to support him, however, so Wandy ends up the tough-luck loser tonight. His line: 7.0 IP / 6 H / 2 R / 2 ER / 2 BB / 3 K. He drops to 6-5, while lowering his ERA to 3.29. Lyon and Abad combined for a 2.0 IP / 2 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 0 BB / 0 K line in relief.
*Chris Johnson had his first multi-hit game since June 2, going 2 for 4 with a pair of singles, the first of which broke up Hochevar's no-hit bid with one out in the fifth. CJ has been hitting a meager .156 since that June 2 game, so it would be nice if this was the game that gets him going again.
*Carlos Lee was Houston's other offensive star (if you can call it that), going 2 for 3 with a single, a double, and a walk.
*Jason Castro was the only other Astro with a hit, adding a fifth inning single to go 1 for 4.
*Altogether, Houston hitters combined for 5 H / 5 BB / 8 K and no runs scored.
*Jed Lowrie walked twice and got to third base each time, but no one could get him home.
The Astros had runners on second and third with only one out in the bottom of the sixth, but Hochevar got both Maxwell and Bogusevic to strike out swinging. That ended Houston's biggest scoring threat.
Man of the Match:
Wandy Rodriguez. After throwing too many pitches early on, he turned up the efficiency late and went deep to give the bullpen some much-needed rest. He deserved a better fate tonight.
Goat of the Game:
Justin Maxwell. 0 for 4 with three strikeouts and five men left on base. The offense as a whole was weak tonight, but Maxwell had the most missed opportunities at the plate.