HOUSTON (AP) — Cheslor Cuthbert hit a solo homer early and Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez both went deep during a six-run eighth inning, helping the Kansas City Royals rally for a 7-3 win over the Houston Astros on Saturday night.
The Royals trailed 2-1 and managed just two hits off Dallas Keuchel before Luke Gregerson (0-1) took over for the eighth. Alex Gordon put Kansas City ahead with a two-run double, Lorenzo Cain hit an RBI single and then Hosmer's first homer this season extended the lead to 6-2. Two pitches later, Perez sent an 88 mph fastball into the seats in left field to chase Gregerson.
Danny Duffy (1-0) allowed eight hits and two runs over seven innings for the win, and the Royals took their second straight from Houston after being swept in a three-game series at Minnesota to open the season.
The bullpen collapse ruined a solid start by Keuchel, the 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner. He has yielded just four hits and two runs over 14 innings in his first two starts after struggling last season.
Brian McCann gave Houston a 1-0 lead when he sent Duffy's first pitch of the third inning into the right field stands.
The Astros had the bases loaded with one out in the fourth after a walk by Carlos Correa and singles by Carlos Beltran and Yuli Gurriel. Marwin Gonzalez's single scored Correa to make it 2-0, but McCann grounded into a double play to limit the damage.
Keuchel had allowed just one hit when Cuthbert homered to left to start the fifth inning and cut Houston's lead to 2-1.
Astros: Collin McHugh, who started the season on the 10-day disabled list after dealing with what he called "dead arm" this spring, will not throw for the next six weeks after injuring his pitching elbow during a rehab start on Thursday. McHugh pitched just one inning at Triple-A Fresno before feeling tightness leaving the game. There is no timetable for his return, but he will be re-evaluated after six weeks.
Royals: Right-hander Nate Karns will make his first start and second appearance of the season in the finale on Sunday. Karns allowed four runs, two hits and two walks in a relief appearance in a 9-1 loss to Minnesota on Wednesday.
Astros: Right-hander Lance McCullers (1-0) is scheduled to make his second start on Sunday. McCullers yielded five hits and one run in six innings of a 2-1 win over Seattle on Tuesday.