HOUSTON (AP) Royals manager Ned Yost wasn’t concerned when Wade Davis walked two batters with one out in the ninth and Kansas City clinging to a one-run lead.
He’s seen enough of his closer to know that he’d figure out a way to escape the jam.
Davis retired Jose Altuve and George Springer after the walks to collect his third save, and Lorenzo Cain‘s three-run homer in the first inning was just enough offense for the Royals to get a 3-2 win over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night, in a game heard locally on KTTN AM 1600 and KTTN FM 92.3.
“He always finds a way,” Yost said of Davis. “He’ll bend a little bit but I’ve never seen him break. … His stuff is so good he can get through an inning throwing more balls than strikes with a one-run lead. That’s how good he is.”
Davis led all relievers in the majors last season with a 0.94 ERA but said he’s having a little trouble with his mechanics right now.
“I get it a lot where I’ll feel incredible but just it’s tough for the arm to catch up because it’s just part of that process,” he said. “And I’ll come right out of it and be a little bit crisper. I know the last couple of outings have been kind of like that where the command hasn’t been great and it will sharpen up here pretty soon.”
Kris Medlen (1-0) allowed six hits and two runs with seven strikeouts in five innings in his 2016 debut.
“Just kept the hands inside and snuck it over the left field wall,” Cain said.
Fiers settled down after his tough first inning, allowing just three more hits and no runs in the next five innings before he was replaced by Will Harris for the seventh. But the early hole was too much to overcome on a night when the Astros went 2 for 10 with runners in scoring position.
Kansas City’s bullpen was solid after Medlen’s exit, with Luke Hochevar and Kelvin Herrera striking out two each in perfect innings before Joakim Soria took over in the eighth. He allowed one hit and walked one before he was relieved by Davis.
“Their bullpen is one of the best in the big leagues; everyone knows that,” Houston’s Carlos Correa said. “That’s why they are so successful.”
Houston designated hitter Evan Gattis went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts in his first game of the season after starting the year on the disabled list following February surgery to repair a sports hernia.
The Royals announced on Tuesday that they received permission from Major League Baseball to continue to wear the gold accented jerseys and hats that they wore for the first two games of this season during each Friday home game. The uniforms, which include hats that have the 2015 World Series Champions logo on the side, are a tribute to their championship season.
Their next Friday home game is April 22 against the Orioles.
Former President George H.W. Bush threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Tuesday’s game. The 91-year-old was pushed onto the field in a wheelchair and tossed the ball left-handed to Monday’s starter Collin McHugh from about five feet in front of the plate. After McHugh grabbed the pitch, which was just a bit outside, Bush raised both of his fists in the air and smiled.
Royals: OF Jarrod Dyson (right oblique strain) went 2 for 5 in his rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Omaha on Tuesday. Manager Ned Yost said there wasn’t a timetable for his return yet.
Astros: Right-hander Lance McCullers (right shoulder soreness) will make his second rehabilitation start for Double-A Corpus Christi on Saturday.
Royals: Yordano Ventura (0-0, 3.60) will make his second start of the season on Wednesday. Ventura didn’t factor into the decision in his first start after allowing two hits and two runs and tying a career high with six walks in a 4-3 win over the Twins.
Astros: Scott Feldman (0-1, 9.00) will pitch for Houston on Wednesday. It will be his second start this season after he allowed five hits and four runs in four innings of a 6-4 loss to Milwaukee.