KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Scott Kazmir pitched seven strong innings in his Houston debut, leading the Astros to a 4-0 win over the Kanas City Royals on Friday night.
The 31-year-old left-hander limited the Royals to three singles and only runner – Mike Moustakas in the fourth – past first base. Kazmir (6-5), who lowered his ERA to 2.24, retired the final nine batters he faced.
Kazmir, acquired by the Astros from Oakland on Thursday for two minor leaguers, hasn’t lost a July start since July 10, 2010, going 7-0 in his past 14 starts.
Preston Tucker had three of the Astros’ hits, including his fourth home run in five games – a solo shot in the third inning. Colby Rasmus singled home Carlos Correa later in the inning to make it 2-0.
Correa, a 20-year-old rookie who extended his hitting streak to nine games, and Jose Altuve each singled home a run in the fourth inning.
Left-hander Tony Sipp walked Moustakas and gave up a single to Eric Hosmer in the ninth, which prompted manager A.J. Hinch to summon closer Luke Gregerson for the final two outs. Gregerson logged his 21st save in 24 opportunities, getting Kendrys Morales to ground into a game inning double play.
Royals right-hander Jeremy Guthrie (7-6) gave up four runs on 11 hits, matching his season high, and two walks in seven innings. It was the eighth time this season and his third straight start Guthrie has allowed at least eight hits.
The Astros won their fifth straight and are 6-1 since the All-Star break. The Royals are 0-4 against the Astros this season.
Astros: INF Jed Lowrie (ligament right thumb tear) has begun a rehab assignment with Double-A Corpus Christi.
Royals: LF Alex Gordon (left groin strain) has started a throwing program, but manager Ned Yost said Gordon is a ways off before returning.
Astros: RHP Scott Feldman will be making his second start since May 26 and going on the disabled list after knee surgery.
Royals: LHP Danny Duffy lost to the Astros on June 30, allowing four runs on six hits over 6 2/3 innings.