Wade Davis (3-3, 5.98) vs Bud Norris (4-4, 4.32)
Bud Norris' back was the story tonight. His back pushed his scheduled Sunday start back to Tuesday, then he seemed fine through six scoreless innings. But an extended dugout stint in the 6th allowed his back to tighten up again, forcing him (reluctantly) from the game, and once Houston's bullpen came in, it was all Royals the rest of the way. The Astros spoil a sterling BudChuck effort and fall 7-3, snapping their win streak at one and dropping to 13-33 overall.
On the Mound:
*Studly Cuddly Budly deserved better from his bullpen. For his part, at least, he did everything he could to help his team win, with a 6 IP / 5 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 2 BB / 2 K line.
*Travis Blackley started the bullpen's March of Futility, allowing back-to-back singles to start the 7th, then recording two outs before giving way to Paul Clemens.
*(Not Roger) surrendered another pair of back-to-back singles, allowing both of Blackley's runners to score, then got a K to end the 7th, but left after allowing a walk and another single starting the 8th.
*Wesley Wright followed Clemens and gave up a single to the only batter he faced.
*Jose Cisnero next came into a bases-loaded, no-out situation and generously let everyone's runners score, including one more of his own, to flip a 3-2 lead into a 6-3 hole before finishing the 8th. He allowed another run on a wild pitch in the 9th for good measure.
At the Plate:
*Jimmy Paredes was the story on offense, going 3 for 3 with a walk and a 3-run HR that accounted for all of Houston's runs.
*J.D. Martinez had a double and scored a run, going 2 for 3 with a BB and a K.
*Carlos Pena singled and scored the other run, finishing 1 for 4.
*Matt Dominguez notched a pair of singles to go 2 for 4.
*Robbie Grossman keeps getting on base, going 1 for 4 with a BB and a K.
*Marwin Gonzalez had Houston's remaining hit and finished 1 for 3 with a BB and a K.
That furshlugginer 8th inning. Paul Clemens started with a walk and a single, Wesley Wright loaded the bases with another single, then Jose Cisnero let it all go to pot. A strikeout gave a glimmer of hope, but then a Mike Moustakas single tied the game at 3-3 and kept the bases loaded. A walk to George Kottaras handed the lead away, then two more scored on a fielder's choice and a Marwin Gonzalez error.
Man of the Match:
Co-stars to Bud Norris and Jimmy Paredes. Not your fault, fellas.
Goat of the Game:
Paul Clemens. Cisnero was bad, but (Not Roger) was worse, allowing three hits and a walk in one third of an inning, resulting directly or indirectly in four of Kansas City's seven runs.