KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Bobby Witt Jr., Nelson Velazquez and Michael Massey homered, Angel Zerpa gave up one run over four innings and the Kansas City Royals beat the Houston Astros 4-2 on Friday night.
Salvador Perez gave Kansas City a 1-0 lead with a sacrifice fly in the third inning. Velazquez homered to center in the fourth to make it 2-0.
In the fifth inning, Witt homered to left for a 3-0 lead. He has 29 homers and added two stolen bases to push that total 47. He’s the first player since September of 2020 to have a homer and two stolen bases in the same game.
The Astros got one back after a single by Jeremy Pena and a double by Yordan Alvarez made it 3-1 in the sixth.
Massey gave the Royals some insurance with his 14th homer of the season in the bottom of the eighth inning. He’s homered in each of the last three games.
Zack Greinke opened the game and went two innings for Kansas City, allowing three hits, walking one and fanning one. He threw almost 50 pitches in those two frames.
“I certainly didn’t think it’d only be two innings of him throwing 50 pitches but it was a battle,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “He didn’t have his best command for sure, but overall I thought it might go three to four innings.”
Angel Zerpa (2-3) came in and threw four innings, allowing one run on two hits, one walk and struck out five.
“I feel like I’ve gotten better through the level of experience we have in this clubhouse,” Zerpa said.
Christian Javier (9-4) allowed two earned runs over five innings while allowing a walk and striking out six.
“His outing was pretty good,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “Other than the home runs balls, that’s what’s been plauging him all year so we’ve got to figure that out.”
Taylor Clarke gave up a homer in the ninth to Jose Abreu, but still recorded his first save of the season.
The Astros have lost three of their last four games, which have been against Oakland and Kansas City.
“These clubs can beat you too,” Baker said. “They are big league players. These are missed opportunities, but these guys get up for us, everyone gets up for us. We’ve got to get even further up for them and we’ve got five more big games with them.”
The Astros send RHP J.P. France (11-5, 3.61) to the mound Saturday against LHP Cole Ragans (6-4, 3.01).