Houston Astros 2015 Wild Card Playoff and ALDS

Houston Astros
AL Wild Card Team #2

86-76
VS. New York Yankees
AL Wild Card Team #1

87-75


Wild Card Game at New York - Astros 3, Yankees 0
Tuesday, October 6th
Wild Card Game Photos


                1 2 3  4 5 6  7 8 9    R  H  E
Houston         0 1 0  1 0 0  1 0 0 -  3  5  0
New York        0 0 0  0 0 0  0 0 0 -  0  3  0

Win - Keuchel. Loss - Tanaka. Save - Gregerson.
HR - Rasmus, Gomez
Time - 3:04. Attendance - 50,113.

NEW YORK - Dallas Keuchel continued the mastery of his Cy Young season, pitching on three days rest for the first time in his career, blanking the fabled Bronx Bombers in Yankee Stadium, 3-0, to settle which wild card team would advance in the American League playoffs. This was Houston's first time in the American League postseason after they were transfered from the National League in 2013.

Keuchel spun six innings of three-hit shutout ball then relied on his bullpen to deliver three more hitless innings as the aging and beat up Yankees limped out of the postseason. They had only the ghosts of Yankee dynasties past to carry them and, this year, that wouldn't be enough.

Colby Rasmus blasted Masahiro Tanaka's first pitch of the second inning deep into the right field seats. Carlos Gomez, who had just returned from a chest muscle strain that had kept him out almost two weeks, rocketed a solo homer on the first pitch of the fourth inning to give Keuchel a two-run lead to work with.

"That really settled me down," said Keuchel later about the homers. "We hit a lot of home runs. That's who we are."

But the Astros can also win with small ball as they showed in the seventh for their final tally. Chris Carter walked and pinch-runner Jonathan Villar stole second. Jose Altuve drove him home with a single. From there, Tony Sipp, Will Harris and Luke Gregerson closed out the first AL playoff game in Houston's history.

Houston Astros 3, New York Yankees 0
American League Wild Card Game
Played on Tuesday, October 6, 2015 (N) at Yankee Stadium II

HOU A    0  1  0    1  0  0    1  0  0  -   3  5  0
NY  A    0  0  0    0  0  0    0  0  0  -   0  3  0

Houston Astros               AB   R   H RBI      BB  SO      PO   A
Altuve 2b                     4   0   1   1       0   1       1   1
Springer rf                   4   0   1   0       0   1       2   0
Correa ss                     4   0   0   0       0   1       1   2
Rasmus lf                     3   1   1   1       1   1       1   0
Gattis dh                     4   0   0   0       0   1       0   0
Gomez cf                      3   1   1   1       0   0       4   0
  Lowrie ph                   1   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
  Marisnick cf                0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
Valbuena 3b                   4   0   1   0       0   2       0   4
Carter 1b                     0   0   0   0       3   0       5   0
  Villar pr                   0   1   0   0       0   0       0   0
  Gonzalez 1b                 1   0   0   0       0   1       3   0
Castro c                      2   0   0   0       1   1      10   0
Keuchel p                     0   0   0   0       0   0       0   1
  Sipp p                      0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
  Harris p                    0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
  Gregerson p                 0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
Totals                       30   3   5   3       5   9      27   8

BATTING - 
2B: Springer (1,off Tanaka).
HR: Rasmus (1,2nd inning off Tanaka 0 on 0 out); Gomez (1,4th inning off Tanaka
0 on 0 out).
GDP: Castro (1,off Tanaka); Gattis (1,off Wilson).
Team LOB: 5.

BASERUNNING - 
SB: Villar (1,2nd base off Betances/McCann); Altuve (1,2nd base off Betances/McCann).

New York Yankees             AB   R   H RBI      BB  SO      PO   A
Gardner cf,lf                 4   0   0   0       0   3       3   0
Young lf                      2   0   0   0       1   1       1   0
  Ellsbury ph,cf              1   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
Beltran rf                    4   0   1   0       0   2       1   0
Rodriguez dh                  4   0   0   0       0   2       0   0
McCann c                      4   0   0   0       0   0       9   0
Headley 3b                    2   0   0   0       1   1       0   5
Bird 1b                       3   0   1   0       0   1       9   1
Refsnyder 2b                  3   0   0   0       0   0       2   2
Gregorius ss                  3   0   1   0       0   0       1   4
Tanaka p                      0   0   0   0       0   0       1   0
  Wilson p                    0   0   0   0       0   0       0   1
  Betances p                  0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
  Miller p                    0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
Totals                       30   0   3   0       2  10      27  13

FIELDING - 
DP: 2. Bird-Gregorius-Tanaka, Gregorius-Refsnyder-Bird.

BATTING - 
Team LOB: 5.

PITCHING

Houston Astros               IP     H   R  ER  BB  SO  HR BFP
Keuchel W(1-0)                6     3   0   0   1   7   0  22
Sipp                          1     0   0   0   1   1   0   4
Harris                        1     0   0   0   0   0   0   3
Gregerson SV(1)               1     0   0   0   0   2   0   3
Totals                        9     3   0   0   2  10   0  32


New York Yankees             IP     H   R  ER  BB  SO  HR BFP
Tanaka L(0-1)                 5     4   2   2   3   3   2  21
Wilson                        1.1   0   0   0   1   0   0   4
Betances                      1.2   1   1   1   1   4   0   7
Miller                        1     0   0   0   0   2   0   3
Totals                        9     5   3   3   5   9   2  35


Umpires: HP - Eric Cooper, 1B - Paul Emmel, 2B - Ted Barrett, 3B - Bill Miller, 
LF - Chris Conroy, RF - Manny Gonzalez
Time of Game: 3:04   Attendance: 50113

Houston Astros
Wild Card Champions

86-76
VS. Kansas City Royals
AL Central Champions

95-67

Game 1   Game 2   Game 3   Game 4   Game 5


Photo Gallery
For video highlights, go to the 2015 Recap Page.
Baseball Reference page


Game 1 at Kansas City - Astros 5, Royals 2
Thursday, October 8th
Game 1 Photos


                1 2 3  4 5 6  7 8 9    R  H  E
Houston         2 1 0  0 1 0  0 1 0 -  5 11  0
Kansas City     0 1 0  1 0 0  0 0 0 -  2  6  0

Win - McHugh. Loss - Ventura. Save - Gregerson.
HR - Springer, Rasmus, Morales 2.
Time - 3:14. Attendance - 40,146.

KANSAS CITY - Working around a 49-minute rain delay, Collin McHugh allowed just four hits over six innings to lead the Astros over Kansas City, 5-2, in Game 1 of the American League Division Series. In fact, the Royals' offense against McHugh was largely the product of one man - first baseman Kendrys Morales who drilled two solo homers that gave the 40,000-plus home fans something to stay excited about.

Starter Yordano Ventura allowed three runs on four hits in the first two innings. He did not come back after the rain delay as soft-tosser Chris Young replaced him. That turned out to be a smart move as Young tossed four innings of uneventful relief, other than a solo shot by George Springer with one out in the fifth. Colby Rasmus would later continue his Carlos Beltran impersonation with a solo homer in the eighth to complete the scoring. Rasmus has homered in all three postseason games this year.

McHugh turned the ball over to his bullpen as Tony Sipp, Will Harris and Oliver Perez kept the Royals in check before Luke Gregerson closed out the ninth.

Houston Astros 5, Kansas City Royals 2
American League Division Series Game 1
Played on Thursday, October 8, 2015 (N) at Kauffman Stadium

HOU A    2  1  0    0  1  0    0  1  0  -   5 11  0
KC  A    0  1  0    1  0  0    0  0  0  -   2  6  0

Houston Astros               AB   R   H RBI      BB  SO      PO   A
Altuve 2b                     5   1   3   1       0   0       1   3
Springer rf                   4   2   2   1       1   1       3   0
Correa ss                     5   0   1   0       0   2       0   4
Rasmus lf                     3   1   1   2       1   1       1   0
Gattis dh                     4   0   1   1       0   1       0   0
  Gomez pr,dh                 0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
Valbuena 3b                   3   0   0   0       1   3       1   3
Carter 1b                     4   0   1   0       0   2      13   0
  Gonzalez 1b                 0   0   0   0       0   0       1   0
Castro c                      4   0   0   0       0   3       4   0
Marisnick cf                  4   1   2   0       0   1       3   0
McHugh p                      0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
  Sipp p                      0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
  Harris p                    0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
  Perez p                     0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
  Gregerson p                 0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
Totals                       36   5  11   5       3  14      27  10

BATTING - 
2B: Marisnick (1,off Ventura).
HR: Springer (1,5th inning off Young 0 on 1 out); Rasmus (1,8th inning off
Madson 0 on 0 out).
GDP: Castro (1,off Young).
Team LOB: 7.

BASERUNNING - 
SB: Rasmus (1,2nd base off Young/Perez).
CS: Altuve (1,2nd base by Young/Perez).

Kansas City Royals           AB   R   H RBI      BB  SO      PO   A
Escobar ss                    4   0   0   0       0   1       1   4
Zobrist 2b                    4   0   2   0       0   0       1   2
Cain cf                       4   0   1   0       0   0       0   0
Hosmer 1b                     4   0   0   0       0   0       8   1
Morales dh                    4   2   2   2       0   1       0   0
Moustakas 3b                  3   0   0   0       0   0       0   1
Perez c                       4   0   0   0       0   1      14   1
Gordon lf                     4   0   1   0       0   0       1   0
Rios rf                       2   0   0   0       1   1       1   0
Ventura p                     0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
  Young p                     0   0   0   0       0   0       0   1
  Herrera p                   0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
  Madson p                    0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
  Hochevar p                  0   0   0   0       0   0       1   0
Totals                       33   2   6   2       1   4      27  10

FIELDING - 
DP: 1. Zobrist-Escobar-Hosmer.

BATTING - 
HR: Morales 2 (2,2nd inning off McHugh 0 on 0 out,4th inning off McHugh 0 on
2 out).
HBP: Moustakas (1,by Gregerson).
Team LOB: 6.

BASERUNNING - 
SB: Zobrist (1,2nd base off McHugh/Castro).

PITCHING

Houston Astros               IP     H   R  ER  BB  SO  HR BFP
McHugh W(1-0)                 6     4   2   2   1   1   2  23
Sipp                          1     0   0   0   0   0   0   3
Harris                        0.2   2   0   0   0   1   0   4
Perez                         0.1   0   0   0   0   0   0   1
Gregerson SV(1)               1     0   0   0   0   2   0   4
Totals                        9     6   2   2   1   4   2  35

HBP: Gregerson (1,Moustakas).
Inherited Runners - Scored: Perez 2-0.
.

Kansas City Royals           IP     H   R  ER  BB  SO  HR BFP
Ventura L(0-1)                2     4   3   3   1   2   0  11
Young                         4     3   1   1   2   7   1  15
Herrera                       1     1   0   0   0   2   0   4
Madson                        1     2   1   1   0   3   1   5
Hochevar                      1     1   0   0   0   0   0   4
Totals                        9    11   5   5   3  14   2  39


Umpires: HP - Lance Barksdale, 1B - Angel Hernandez, 2B - Mike Everitt, 3B - Ron Kulpa, 
LF - Gerry Davis, RF - Todd Tichenor
Time of Game: 3:14   Attendance: 40146


Game 2 at Kansas City - Royals 5, Astros 4
Friday, October 9th
Game 2 Photos


                1 2 3  4 5 6  7 8 9    R  H  E
Houston         1 2 1  0 0 0  0 0 0 -  4  8  0
Kansas City     0 1 1  0 0 2  1 0 x -  5 11  0

Win - Herrera. Loss - Harris. Save - Davis.
HR - Perez, Rasmus
Time - 3:27. Attendance - 40,008.

KANSAS CITY - When the Royals reached the World Series the previous year, they used an unusual pairing of a shutdown bullpen and clutch late-inning magic to post many of their wins. After watching the Houston bullpen shut them down in Game 1, the Royals roared back from a 4-1 deficit to upend the Astros, 5-4, and even their best-of-5 series. Had they fallen behind 0-2, they would have needed to win the next three to stay alive.

Both managers turned to starters acquired at the trade deadline to pull one out for their new teams. K.C. sent out righthander Johnny Cueto who fell behind early. Houston started lefthander Scott Kazmir, once a prized top draft prospect who had fallen as far as the independent Sugar Land Skeeters before resurrecting his career.

After George Springer walked in the first inning, Colby Rasmus continued his hot hitting with an RBI double. In the second, two singles and a walk filled the bases when Springer plated two on a base hit to short. A solo homer by Royals catcher Salavdor Perez answered for a 3-1 deficit. Rasmus responded with a homer of his own in the third - his third in three post-season games for the shaggy outfielder.

An overturned call at first by intsant replay eventually led to another Kansas City run while Cueto at last posted a scoreless frame. The next few innings were quiet.

The Royals began to use their winning formula in the sixth when Lorenzo cain smacked a double to right. Oliver Perez relieved as Eric Hosmer singled home Cain. Kendrys Morales singled then Mike Moustakas walked to fill the bases. Josh Fields relieved and issued a free pass to Salvador Perez that tied the game at four apiece.

Will Harris took over in the seventh and was burned when the scouting report said to play Alcides Escobar in close and Escobar skied a triple. Ben Zobrist drove Escobar home with a base hit and gave the Royals the go-ahead run they needed.

That's when Kansas City's vice grip bullpen did what they do best - choking the life out of any comeback dreams. Kelvin Herrera, Ryan Madson and Wade Davis shut down the Astros but not without some late controversy.

Houston had one last gasp in the ninth when pinch-hitter Preston Tucker walked. Carlos Gomez pinch-ran and was ruled safe on a pick-off throw to first. Kansas City manager Ned Yost protested and the instant replay reviewers backed him up. With that, Jose Altuve grounded out to end the game.

"It's a tough loss but they're a good team," commented Rasmus afterwards. "You've got to give them credit. The fans got behind them pretty good and they pushed it through."

Kansas City Royals 5, Houston Astros 4
American League Division Series Game 2
Played on Friday, October 9, 2015 (D) at Kauffman Stadium

HOU A    1  2  1    0  0  0    0  0  0  -   4  8  0
KC  A    0  1  1    0  0  2    1  0  x  -   5 11  0

Houston Astros               AB   R   H RBI      BB  SO      PO   A
Altuve 2b                     5   0   0   0       0   0       1   4
Springer rf                   3   1   1   2       1   1       5   0
Correa ss                     4   0   1   0       0   2       1   0
Rasmus lf                     3   1   2   2       1   0       3   0
Gattis dh                     4   0   1   0       0   0       0   0
Valbuena 3b                   4   0   1   0       0   2       1   2
Carter 1b                     4   1   1   0       0   2       5   0
Castro c                      2   1   0   0       1   0       7   0
  Lowrie ph                   1   0   0   0       0   1       0   0
Marisnick cf                  3   0   1   0       0   1       1   0
  Tucker ph                   0   0   0   0       1   0       0   0
  Gomez pr                    0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
Kazmir p                      0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
  Perez p                     0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
  Fields p                    0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
  Harris p                    0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
  Sipp p                      0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
  Neshek p                    0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
Totals                       33   4   8   4       4   9      24   6

FIELDING - 
DP: 1. Valbuena-Altuve-Carter.

BATTING - 
2B: Rasmus (1,off Cueto).
HR: Rasmus (2,3rd inning off Cueto 0 on 0 out).
GDP: Correa (1,off Cueto).
Team LOB: 6.

Kansas City Royals           AB   R   H RBI      BB  SO      PO   A
Escobar ss                    5   1   2   0       0   1       1   5
Zobrist 2b                    4   0   2   1       0   0       3   2
Cain cf                       4   1   1   0       0   0       4   0
Hosmer 1b                     4   1   1   1       0   0       9   0
Morales dh                    4   0   1   0       0   2       0   0
Moustakas 3b                  3   0   0   0       1   0       0   2
Perez c                       3   1   2   2       1   1       9   0
Gordon lf                     3   0   1   0       1   1       0   0
  Dyson pr,lf                 0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
Rios rf                       3   1   1   0       0   1       1   0
  Orlando rf                  1   0   0   0       0   1       0   0
Cueto p                       0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
  Herrera p                   0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
  Madson p                    0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
  Davis p                     0   0   0   0       0   0       0   1
Totals                       34   5  11   4       3   7      27  10

FIELDING - 
DP: 1. Moustakas-Zobrist-Hosmer.

BATTING - 
2B: Rios (1,off Kazmir); Cain (1,off Kazmir).
3B: Escobar (1,off Harris).
HR: Perez (1,2nd inning off Kazmir 0 on 2 out).
GDP: Zobrist (1,off Kazmir).
Team LOB: 8.

BASERUNNING - 
SB: Dyson (1,2nd base off Neshek/Castro).

PITCHING

Houston Astros               IP     H   R  ER  BB  SO  HR BFP
Kazmir                        5.1   5   3   3   1   4   1  21
Perez                         0     2   1   1   1   0   0   3
Fields                        0.2   0   0   0   1   2   0   3
Harris L(0-1)                 0.2   2   1   1   0   0   0   4
Sipp                          0.2   0   0   0   0   0   0   2
Neshek                        0.2   2   0   0   0   1   0   4
Totals                        8    11   5   5   3   7   1  37

Inherited Runners - Scored: Perez 1-1; Fields 3-1; Sipp 1-0.


Kansas City Royals           IP     H   R  ER  BB  SO  HR BFP
Cueto                         6     7   4   4   3   5   1  27
Herrera W(1-0)                1     1   0   0   0   1   0   4
Madson                        1     0   0   0   0   2   0   3
Davis SV(1)                   1     0   0   0   1   1   0   3
Totals                        9     8   4   4   4   9   1  37


Umpires: HP - Angel Hernandez, 1B - Mike Everitt, 2B - Ron Kulpa, 3B - Gerry Davis, 
LF - Todd Tichenor, RF - Lance Barksdale
Replay: tag play (9th inning, Jose Altuve at bat, Royals challenge, call
overturned)
Time of Game: 3:27   Attendance: 40008


font class=subheader>Game 3 at Houston - Astros 4, Royals 2
Sunday, October 11th
Game 3 Photos


                1 2 3  4 5 6  7 8 9    R  H  E
Kansas City     0 0 0  1 0 0  0 0 1 -  2  7  0
Houston         0 0 0  0 2 1  1 0 x -  4  8  1

Win - Keuchel. Loss - Volquez. Save - Gregerson.
HR - Cain, Gordon, Carter.
Time - 3:20. Attendance - 42,674.

HOUSTON - About as close to automatic as anything in baseball could be was Dallas Keuchel at home in 2015. The lefty was 15-0 at Minute Maid Park, accounting for 75% of his victories on the season. If he could carry that into the playoffs, the Astros would be just one step away from their first ALCS.

Not even Kansas City's comeback magic was equal to the challenge as Keuchel tossed seven innings of five-hit ball to handcuff the Royals, 4-2, and give Houston a 2-1 lead in the series. It wasn't the former Razorback's sharpest performance. He walked three and struck out seven.

Lorenzo Cain went deep in the fourth and the Royals used an error and a walk to rattle the Houston ace but Alex Gordon flied out to end the frame.

Houston took the lead for good in the fifth on Jason Castro's two-run single set up by a walk and Chris Carter's double against Edinson Volquez.

The Astros tacked on another run in the sixth when George Springer belter a lead-off double and scored on a single from Carlos Gomez. Carter launched a home run to start the seventh off Danny Duffy that provided a 4-1 lead.

The Royals tried a new tactic against red-hot Colby Rasmus. They walked him three times, including one intentionally.

Tony Sipp and Luke Gregerson secured the final six outs but not before Gordon smacked a home run for the final tally. Suddenly, a team that had suffered through a franchise-record 111 losses just two years prior was just one win away from reaching the LCS.

Houston Astros 4, Kansas City Royals 2
American League Division Series Game 3
Played on Sunday, October 11, 2015 (D) at Minute Maid Park

KC  A    0  0  0    1  0  0    0  0  1  -   2  7  0
HOU A    0  0  0    0  2  1    1  0  x  -   4  8  1

Kansas City Royals           AB   R   H RBI      BB  SO      PO   A
Escobar ss                    5   0   2   0       0   0       1   3
Zobrist 2b                    4   0   1   0       0   1       3   2
Cain cf                       4   1   1   1       1   2       1   0
Hosmer 1b                     4   0   0   0       0   3       5   0
Morales dh                    3   0   1   0       1   0       0   0
Moustakas 3b                  4   0   1   0       0   1       2   1
Perez c                       3   0   0   0       1   1      11   0
Gordon lf                     4   1   1   1       0   2       1   1
Rios rf                       3   0   0   0       1   0       0   0
Volquez p                     0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
  Duffy p                     0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
  Hochevar p                  0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
Totals                       34   2   7   2       4  10      24   7

FIELDING - 
DP: 1. Escobar-Zobrist-Hosmer.

BATTING - 
2B: Zobrist (1,off Keuchel); Moustakas (1,off Keuchel).
HR: Cain (1,4th inning off Keuchel 0 on 0 out); Gordon (1,9th inning off Gregerson
0 on 0 out).
SH: Zobrist (1,off Keuchel).
IBB: Cain (1,by Keuchel).
Team LOB: 10.

Houston Astros               AB   R   H RBI      BB  SO      PO   A
Altuve 2b                     4   0   0   0       0   1       2   3
Springer rf                   4   1   1   0       0   2       1   0
Correa ss                     4   0   1   0       0   1       1   4
Rasmus lf                     1   0   1   0       3   0       1   0
Gattis dh                     4   0   0   0       0   2       0   0
Gomez cf                      4   0   1   1       0   2       3   0
Valbuena 3b                   1   1   0   0       1   1       0   0
  Gonzalez ph,3b              1   0   0   0       0   0       0   1
  Lowrie ph,3b                1   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
Carter 1b                     3   2   3   1       0   0       9   1
Castro c                      3   0   1   2       0   1      10   1
Keuchel p                     0   0   0   0       0   0       0   1
  Sipp p                      0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
  Gregerson p                 0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
Totals                       30   4   8   4       4  10      27  11

FIELDING - 
E: Valbuena (1).

BATTING - 
2B: Carter (1,off Volquez); Springer (1,off Volquez).
HR: Carter (1,7th inning off Duffy 0 on 0 out).
GDP: Altuve (1,off Volquez).
IBB: Rasmus (1,by Volquez).
Team LOB: 6.

PITCHING

Kansas City Royals           IP     H   R  ER  BB  SO  HR BFP
Volquez L(0-1)                5.2   5   3   3   4   8   0  24
Duffy                         0.2   1   1   1   0   0   1   3
Hochevar                      1.2   2   0   0   0   2   0   7
Totals                        8     8   4   4   4  10   1  34

IBB: Volquez (1,Rasmus).
Inherited Runners - Scored: Duffy 2-0.

Houston Astros               IP     H   R  ER  BB  SO  HR BFP
Keuchel W(1-0)                7     5   1   1   3   7   1  30
Sipp                          0.2   0   0   0   1   2   0   3
Gregerson SV(2)               1.1   2   1   1   0   1   1   6
Totals                        9     7   2   2   4  10   2  39

WP: Keuchel (1).
IBB: Keuchel (1,Cain).
Inherited Runners - Scored: Gregerson 1-0.

Umpires: HP - Mike Everitt, 1B - Ron Kulpa, 2B - Gerry Davis, 3B - Todd Tichenor, 
LF - Lance Barksdale, RF - Angel Hernandez
Time of Game: 3:20   Attendance: 42674


font class=subheader>Game 4 at Houston - Royals 9, Astros 6
Sunday, October 12th
Game 4 Photos


                1 2 3  4 5 6  7 8 9    R  H  E
Kansas City     0 2 0  0 0 0  0 5 2 -  9  8  0
Houston         0 1 1  0 1 0  3 0 x -  6  9  1

Win - Madson. Loss - Sipp. Save - Davis.
HR - Perez, Hosmer, Gomez, Correa 2, Rasmus
Time - 4:05. Attendance - 42,387.

HOUSTON - It was there for the taking.

As Colby Rasmus crossed home plate in the seventh inning, surely most of the 42,000-plus in attendance felt sure the Astros were headed to their first American League Championship Series. They led by four runs with six outs to go.

Up to that point, Carlos Correa was having perhaps the best day of his young life - he'd driven in four runs with two homers and a double. Veterans Rasmus and Carlos Gomez also bashed solo shots for a 6-2 lead.

Rookie Lance McCullers Jr., who had just turned age 22 the week before, was in line for the victory after having tossed 6-1/3rd innings of two-hit ball before passing the baton to a normally reliable bullpen. A two-run homer by Salvador Perez was his only true mistake.

The Kansas City eighth, though, was a different story. What started out as casual concern turned to horror as the Royals continued to peck away with hit after hit.Four straight singles off Will Harris produced a run then Tony Sipp entered. Eric Hosmer added another single to make the score 6-4 before a shot by Kendrys Morales handcuffed Correa while two runs scored to tie the game. There was still nobody out. After a strikeout, Luke Gregerson relieved and walked a batter to reload the bases. Alex Gordon tapped out to first but Hosmer scored to break the tie. In what seemed like a nightmare, the resourceful Royals had plated five and grabbed a 7-6 advantage with their playoff backs to the wall.

After Houston was retired in the eighth, Hosmer added the exclamation point with a two-run homer off Josh Fields in the ninth. Correa answered with a single to give him four hits and eleven total bases for the day but the Astros fell in a dramatic 9-6 disaster.

A decisive Game Five still loomed back in Kansas City but most observers knew the young Astros had already received the fatal blow for their playoff hopes while the Royals proved again that their run to the World Series the year before was no fluke.

Kansas City Royals 9, Houston Astros 6 American League Division Series Game 4 Played on Monday, October 12, 2015 (D) at Minute Maid Park KC A 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 5 2 - 9 8 0 HOU A 0 1 1 0 1 0 3 0 0 - 6 9 1 Kansas City Royals AB R H RBI BB SO PO A Escobar ss 4 1 1 0 0 2 1 2 Zobrist 2b 4 2 1 0 1 0 1 0 Cain cf 5 1 1 1 0 3 3 0 Hosmer 1b 5 2 2 3 0 1 3 0 Morales dh 4 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 Dyson pr,dh 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 Moustakas 3b 4 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 Perez c 2 1 1 2 0 0 11 0 Gore pr 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Butera c 0 0 0 0 1 0 5 0 Gordon lf 3 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 Rios rf 3 1 1 0 1 2 0 0 Orlando pr,rf 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 Ventura p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 Herrera p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Madson p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Davis p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Totals 35 9 8 8 5 12 27 4 BATTING - HR: Perez (2,2nd inning off McCullers 1 on 1 out); Hosmer (1,9th inning off Fields 1 on 1 out). HBP: Escobar (1,by McCullers); Perez (1,by McCullers). Team LOB: 6. BASERUNNING - SB: Gore (1,2nd base off Harris/Castro); Dyson (2,2nd base off Sipp/Castro). CS: Gore (1,3rd base by Harris/Castro). Houston Astros AB R H RBI BB SO PO A Altuve 2b 4 1 0 0 1 1 0 2 Springer rf 4 1 0 0 1 4 1 0 Correa ss 4 2 4 4 0 0 2 1 Rasmus lf 4 1 2 1 1 2 2 0 Gattis dh 4 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 Marisnick pr,dh 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Tucker ph,dh 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 Gomez cf 5 1 2 1 0 1 1 0 Valbuena 3b 2 0 0 0 2 0 2 1 Carter 1b 3 0 0 0 0 2 4 1 Gonzalez 1b 1 0 0 0 0 1 3 0 Castro c 3 0 0 0 0 3 10 1 Lowrie ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Conger c 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 McCullers p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Harris p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Sipp p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Gregerson p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Fields p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Totals 36 6 9 6 5 16 27 6 FIELDING - E: Correa (1). BATTING - 2B: Correa (1,off Ventura). HR: Gomez (1,2nd inning off Ventura 0 on 0 out); Correa 2 (2,3rd inning off Ventura 0 on 2 out,7th inning off Madson 1 on 1 out); Rasmus (3,7th inning off Madson 0 on 1 out). HBP: Correa (1,by Ventura). IBB: Rasmus (2,by Ventura). Team LOB: 9. PITCHING Kansas City Royals IP H R ER BB SO HR BFP Ventura 5 4 3 3 3 8 2 23 Herrera 1 0 1 1 2 3 0 5 Madson W(1-0) 1 4 2 2 0 2 2 7 Davis SV(2) 2 1 0 0 0 3 0 7 Totals 9 9 6 6 5 16 4 42 Herrera faced 1 batter in the 7th inning HBP: Ventura (1,Correa). IBB: Ventura (1,Rasmus). Inherited Runners - Scored: Madson 1-1. . Houston Astros IP H R ER BB SO HR BFP McCullers 6.1 2 2 2 2 7 1 25 Harris 0.2 4 4 3 0 1 0 5 Sipp L(0-1) 0.1 1 1 0 0 1 0 3 Gregerson 0.2 0 0 0 2 1 0 4 Fields 1 1 2 2 1 2 1 5 Totals 9 8 9 7 5 12 2 42 Harris faced 4 batters in the 8th inning HBP: McCullers 2 (2,Escobar,Perez). Inherited Runners - Scored: Harris 1-0; Sipp 3-3; Gregerson 2-1. Umpires: HP - Ron Kulpa, 1B - Gerry Davis, 2B - Todd Tichenor, 3B - Lance Barksdale, LF - Angel Hernandez, RF - Mike Everitt Replay: tag play (7th inning, Alex Rios at bat, Astros challenge, call overturned) Time of Game: 4:05 Attendance: 42387


Game 5 at Kansas City - Royals, 7, Astros 2
Wednesday, October 14th
Game 5 Photos


                1 2 3  4 5 6  7 8 9   R  H  E
Houston         0 2 0  0 0 0  0 0 0 - 2  2  0
Kansas City     0 0 0  1 3 0  0 3 x - 7  8  0

Win - Cueto. Loss - McHugh.
HR - Valbuena, Morales
Time - 2:42. Attendance - 40,566.

KANSAS CITY - Momentum had swung violently back in Kansas City's favor and with the friendly fans of Kaufmann Stadium behind them, they put their must-win Game Five hopes in the hands of Johnny Cueto who started Game Two on the very same stage. Houston returned to Game One starter Collin McHugh. But the psyches were much different.

"Johnny Cueto was unbelievable," smiled Royals manager Ned Yost. "He knew the magnitude of this game and he came out from the first pitch and had everything going."

Houston actually took the early lead on a two-run homer by Luis Valbuena in the second inning but the Astros were shut down after that. Cueto retired the next 19 Astros after Valbuena's bomb.

McHugh tossed three shutout innings but manager A.J. Hinch, as many young managers do, reached for the bullpen at the first sign of trouble in a "no tomorrow" game. Eric Hosmer singled home Lorenzo Cain in the fourth then McHugh hit a batter and gave up a double to open the fifth. Hinch got out the hook and turned to Mike Fiers.

Alex Rios greeted Fiers with a two-run double which gave Kansas City the lead, 3-2. Next, after a sacrifice bunt, Ben Zobrist plated Rios with a scrifice fly.

In desperation, Hinch turned to Dallas Keuchel on short rest but that only made matters worse. Kendrys Morales swatted a thee-run homer off the eventual Cy Young Award winner to send the packed Kansas City crowd into a frenzy. The 7-2 victory let the Royals advance to the ALCS where they defeated the Toronto Blue Jays. The Royals then won their first Worlds Championship since 1985, winning four of five games against the New York Mets.

Kansas City Royals 7, Houston Astros 2
American League Division Series Game 5
Played on Wednesday, October 14, 2015 (N) at Kauffman Stadium

HOU A    0  2  0    0  0  0    0  0  0  -   2  2  0
KC  A    0  0  0    1  3  0    0  3  x  -   7  8  0

Houston Astros               AB   R   H RBI      BB  SO      PO   A
Altuve 2b                     4   0   0   0       0   0       4   2
Springer rf                   4   0   0   0       0   2       4   0
Correa ss                     3   0   0   0       0   0       1   3
Rasmus lf                     3   0   0   0       0   3       3   0
Gomez cf                      3   0   0   0       0   1       1   0
Gattis dh                     3   1   1   0       0   1       0   0
Valbuena 3b                   3   1   1   2       0   0       0   3
Carter 1b                     3   0   0   0       0   1       6   1
Castro c                      2   0   0   0       0   0       4   0
  Tucker ph                   1   0   0   0       0   1       0   0
McHugh p                      0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
  Fiers p                     0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
  Sipp p                      0   0   0   0       0   0       1   0
  Neshek p                    0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
  Keuchel p                   0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
Totals                       29   2   2   2       0   9      24   9

FIELDING - 
DP: 2. Valbuena-Altuve-Carter, Valbuena-Correa-Carter.

BATTING - 
HR: Valbuena (1,2nd inning off Cueto 1 on 2 out).
Team LOB: 0.

Kansas City Royals           AB   R   H RBI      BB  SO      PO   A
Escobar ss                    3   1   1   0       0   0       1   2
Zobrist 2b                    2   0   0   1       1   1       4   2
Cain cf                       3   2   1   0       1   0       2   0
Hosmer 1b                     4   0   1   1       0   0       6   0
Morales dh                    4   1   1   3       0   0       0   0
Moustakas 3b                  4   0   0   0       0   0       0   1
Perez c                       2   1   1   0       0   0       9   0
Gordon lf                     3   1   1   0       0   1       2   0
Rios rf                       3   1   2   2       0   1       2   0
  Orlando rf                  0   0   0   0       0   0       1   0
Cueto p                       0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
  Davis p                     0   0   0   0       0   0       0   0
Totals                       28   7   8   7       2   3      27   5

BATTING - 
2B: Gordon (1,off McHugh); Rios (2,off Fiers); Escobar (1,off Keuchel).
HR: Morales (3,8th inning off Keuchel 2 on 2 out).
SH: Escobar (1,off Fiers).
SF: Zobrist (1,off Fiers).
HBP: Perez (2,by McHugh).
GDP: Cain (1,off McHugh); Gordon (1,off McHugh).
IBB: Cain (2,by Keuchel).
Team LOB: 2.

PITCHING

Houston Astros               IP     H   R  ER  BB  SO  HR BFP
McHugh L(1-1)                 4     5   3   3   1   1   0  17
Fiers                         1     1   1   1   0   0   0   4
Sipp                          1.2   0   0   0   0   1   0   5
Neshek                        0.1   0   0   0   0   1   0   1
Keuchel                       1     2   3   3   1   0   1   6
Totals                        8     8   7   7   2   3   1  33

McHugh faced 2 batters in the 5th inning
HBP: McHugh (1,Perez).
IBB: Keuchel (2,Cain).
Inherited Runners - Scored: Fiers 2-2.

Kansas City Royals           IP     H   R  ER  BB  SO  HR BFP
Cueto W(1-0)                  8     2   2   2   0   8   1  26
Davis                         1     0   0   0   0   1   0   3
Totals                        9     2   2   2   0   9   1  29


Umpires: HP - Gerry Davis, 1B - Todd Tichenor, 2B - Lance Barksdale, 3B - Angel Hernandez, 
LF - Mike Everitt, RF - Ron Kulpa
Time of Game: 2:42   Attendance: 40566

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Information for this page was compiled from Houston Astros and Kansas City Royals media sources, the Houston Chronicle and Retrosheet.org.