May 30, 2024

Pasquantino breaks out with 5 RBIs as Royals trounce Astros 11-2

Kansas City Royals' Vinnie Pasquantino (9) is congratulated after he scored in the third inning of the team's baseball against the Houston Astros, Wednesday, April 10, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

By DAVID SMALE Associated Press
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Vinnie Pasquantino broke out of an early season slump with a home run and a career-high five RBIs to lead the Kansas City Royals to an 11-2 win over the Houston Astros on Wednesday night for their sixth straight victory.
Pasquantino went 3 for 3 with a single, double, homer and a walk with two runs scored after entering the game 4 for 37 with four singles and no RBIs.
“I try not to consider it slumps or highs and lows,” he said. “I just try to consider it that you’re riding this roller coaster and you try to keep it as as much of a kiddie ride as you can. Obviously, the first week and a half wasn’t what I wanted statistically, but tonight felt good.
“The happiest person is probably going to be my wife because I probably won’t be tossing and turning all night. I imagine I’ll sleep a little bit better tonight. Some frustration set in for me. The beautiful thing is when you’re winning, it doesn’t matter.”
The Royals scored seven times in the third inning, jumpstarted by Pasquantino’s two-run double. Kansas City, which had eight runs in the seventh against the Chicago White Sox on April 4, have multiple innings of seven or more runs in April for the first time since 2000.
Seth Lugo (2-0) allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings. It was the Royals’ ninth quality start in 12 games, the most in the majors.
“If we keep the right mindset, we could do it all season,” Lugo said of the success of the starting pitching. “There’s no reason not to. Just make sure after a good game (or) a bad game flush it and move on (and) keep working.”
The Royals’ six-game winning streak is their longest since last September, when they also won six straight — including a three-game sweep of the Astros in Houston. The Royals will go for a 7-0 homestand in Thursday’s finale.
The Royals are 7-1 in their last eight games against the Astros.
Royals manager Matt Quatraro said he had seen Pasquantino pressing this season, but he had confidence his slugging first baseman would come around.
“We really feel Vinnie is a really quality major league hitter,” he said. “He’s played in 10 games or whatever prior to tonight. That’s a really small sample. He’s done it at this level before. We know he’s going to continue to do it.”
Spencer Arrighetti (0-1) made his big league debut and worked around trouble in his first two innings before giving up seven runs in his third and final inning. The Astros’ top pitching prospect said his nerves and emotions were part of his struggle.
“When you want something that bad your whole life, you want it to be perfect,” Arrighetti said. “You want it to go really smoothly and you want everything to feel good.
“But the reality is before the game I was a little bit of an anxious mess. I feel like I had to work harder to get my emotions down.”
The Royals batted around in the third. Pasquantino recorded his first extra-base hit and first two RBIs of the season with a two-run double. Salvador Perez single and MJ Melendez walked to load the bases before Nelson Velázquez stroked a two-run single to right.
Adam Frazier drove in Melendez with a single. Hunter Renfroe capped the scoring with a two-run double.
The Astros got a pair of runs in the fourth on a double by Yainer Diaz and a sacrifice fly by José Abreu.
But Pasquantino answered with his first homer of the season in the bottom of the fourth and drove in his fourth run on a sacrifice fly in the sixth. The Royals added two runs in the eighth, including an RBI single by Pasquantino.
TRANSACTIONS
Astros: RHP Wander Suero was optioned to Triple-A Sugar Land to make room for Arrighetti.
UP NEXT
The Astros will send RHP Hunter Brown (0-1, 6.43 ERA) to the mound to face RHP Brady Singer (1-0, 0.68).