The Chesler Cuthbert of Nicaragua produced three runs, Jason Vargas provided a solid five innings to spin his eighth victory, and the Kansas City Royals took the Houston Astros 7-5 on Wednesday.
There was never an expected pitching duel between Vargas (8-3) and Dallas Keuchel, who held the best of the majors. Keuchel was recalled at the last minute because of illness after heating.
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Instead, the Astros sent the limited Colombian right-hander Dayán Diaz, newly summoned from the Triple A branch in Fresno. Diaz (0-1) allowed three runs and four hits, including a solo homer by Lorenzo Cain, in two innings and two-thirds.
Vargas (8-3), who clinched a shutout against Cleveland in his previous opening, tolerated this time two runs, in a turnaround of Brian McCann. It allowed six hits, issued a ticket and hit a pitch.
Vargas’ average clean – up rate rose from 2.08 to 2.18, but the Royals made their second consecutive win over the Astros.
For the Astros, the Venezuelan Jose Altuve of 3-1. Puerto Ricans Carlos Correa 5-0, Carlos Beltrán 5-1 with an annotated. Cuban 5-1 Yuli Gurriel.
For the Royals, Jose Bonifacio of 4-1 with an annotated. The Venezuelans Salvador Perez 4-2 with two runs scored, Alcides Escobar 4-2 with a run scored and two RBIs. The Cuthbert 4-2 with a scored and three RBIs.