Kansas City Royals (20-21) at Houston Astros (13-32)
Tuesday, May 21 - 8:10 PM EST
Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas
The Kansas City Royals carry a season-long four-game losing streak into the second of three games at Houston on Tuesday. The slide has dropped the Royals, who were on top of the American League Central division earlier this month, below .500 for the first time since they were 2-3. Kansas City has dropped 11 of 14 overall while all four setbacks in its swoon have come by one run, including Monday's 6-5 loss to the Astros.
Matt Dominguez hit a three-run homer and Jason Castro had a solo shot to pace Houston, which has won three of its last five, a pretty solid run for the worst team in baseball. The Astros had also lost their last four one-run decisions but managed to work out of several jams Monday to preserve the win in the opener of an eight-game homestand. Houston is 18-13 all-time against Kansas City.
TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Kansas City, Comcast SportsNet Houston
PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals RH Wade Davis (3-3, 5.98 ERA) vs. Astros RH Bud Norris (4-4, 4.32)
Davis has been wildly inconsistent in his first season with the Royals. After opening 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his first three starts, he went 0-4 with an 8.84 mark in his next four. The 27-year-old ended the losing streak Wednesday in Anaheim but was not particularly sharp, allowing four runs on nine hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings. Davis has 15 strikeouts and 15 walks in his last five starts and after limiting opponents to a .189 average as a reliever in Tampa Bay last year, he has been knocked around to the tune of a .349 average as a starter with Kansas City.
Norris had his originally scheduled start pushed back two days because of back issues that surfaced in his last outing May 13 at Detroit. He gave up seven runs on nine hits in five innings in that one before being removed after throwing some warmup pitches for the sixth. With that loss, Norris has swapped wins and losses through his first eight decisions. Three of the wins have come at home, where the 28-year-old also sports a spiffy 2.30 ERA. Norris has never faced Kansas City.
1. Davis allowed a run in seven innings to pick up the win in his only prior start at Minute Maid Park in 2011.
2. Royals C Salvador Perez left Monday's game after five innings with a sore right hip. He was hurt slamming into the rail in front of the Houston dugout while pursuing a foul pop.
3. Dominguez has all four of his home runs this year in the last nine games.
PREDICTION: Astros 5, Royals 4