McCann, Gurriel Crown Royals, 7-3
Juggernaut Claims 11th Straight

McCann: Celebrates homer
(c) Associated Press
Writers are running out of superlatives for the 2017 Astros. Instead, they are checking the record books for comparisons with the best teams in big league history. After Monday's 7-3 victory in Kansas City, the Astros are on pace for 116 wins, tied for the 2001 Mariners for the best record in the Expansion Era. They will also try to tie their franchise record for most consecutive wins, now that they have reached eleven. The 1999 Astros won a dozen in a row and the 2004 Astros matched that. Both came in the pressure of reaching the playoffs.

Mike Fiers won his second start in a row, giving up two runs in five innings. James Hoyt allowed a solo homer in the seventh to rookie Jorge Bonafacio but that was all the comebacks the Royals could muster. They had big scoring opportunities in the sixth and the ninth but were ultimately shut down.

Royals starter Ian Kennedy had no such luck against the Astros. After Brian McCann doubled and Yuli Gurriel walked in the second, Nori Aoki smacked a base hit for the first run and George Springer (who was named AL Player of the Week) followed with another single to plate Gurriel for a 2-0 lead. McCann doubled the lead in the fourth with a two-run shot into the right-center seats.

Kansas City got as close as 4-3 but the offense gave the busy bullpen some working room in the ninth. Alex Bregman singled against Kelvin Herrera and McCann reached on an error before Gurriel belted his sixth homer of the year into the bullpen past the left field fence to put this one out of reach.

Fresno call-up David Paulino will make his second start on Tuesday in an attempt to tie the franchise record for the longest winning streak. He lasted just four innings his last time out. The Royals are countering with a AAA call-up of their own. Righthander Jake Junis (1-0) is coming up from Omaha for his second big league start. Junis has a 2.70 ERA in 6-2/3rd innings. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:15 Central time.

- Bob Hulsey