Brantley, Peacock help Astros blank Royals
By KRISTIE RIEKEN
AP Sports Writer
HOUSTON (AP) - Michael Brantley homered twice, Brad Peacock pitched seven innings and Josh James completed the three-hitter in Houston's 9-0 win over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night.
Peacock (3-2) allowed three hits and set a career high with 12 strikeouts to help the Astros bounce back after a 12-2 loss on Tuesday night. Peacock also rebounded after allowing seven runs in just 3 2/3 innings in his previous start. James struck out five in the last two innings.
George Springer and Carlos Correa also homered to give the Astros 16 home runs combined in their past five games.
Springer gave Houston an early lead with his MLB-leading fourth leadoff homer this season and the 28th of his career. It's the second time this week he's led off the game with a homer after also doing so in a 6-4 win on Monday.
Houston led 2-0 with one out and one on in the third when Brantley sent a pitch from Jorge Lopez (0-4) into the seats in right field behind the bullpen to make it 4-0.
Correa followed with his shot to straightaway center field to give Houston back-to-back homers for the third time this season. Josh Reddick singled before Yuli Gurriel doubled to chase Lopez. He was replaced by Jake Newberry and Aledmys Diaz's sacrifice fly scored Reddick to extend the lead to 6-0.
Brantley connected again with two outs in the fourth inning to make it 7-0 and give him his fifth career multi-homer game and the first since 2015.
Lopez allowed six hits and six runs while walking three in 2 1/3 innings to remain winless in eight starts this season.
Peacock had allowed just one hit when Terrance Gore and Billy Hamilton hit consecutive singles with one out in the fifth inning. Peacock plunked Whit Merrifield to load the bases, but struck out Adalberto Mondesi and Hunter Dozier to escape the jam.
Those were the first of eight straight batters Peacock retired to end his night. He struck out six in that span, including Martin Maldonado for the first out of the seventh inning. Both Maldonado and manager Ned Yost were ejected for arguing that strikeout.
Royals: RHP Homer Bailey (3-3, 5.25 ERA) will start the first of three games against the Phillies on Friday after a day off on Thursday. He allowed seven hits and two runs in six innings of a 15-3 win over the Tigers in his previous start.
Astros: LHP Wade Miley (2-2, 3.20) is scheduled to pitch for Houston when the team opens a four-game series against Texas on Thursday. Miley has held teams to three earned runs or fewer in 23 straight starts and needs two strikeouts to reach 1,000 for his career.
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