James Shields struck out 12 over eight stellar innings of one-run ball as the Kansas City Royals beat the Houston Astros, 5-1, to complete a three-game sweep.
Shields (1-2) allowed four hits and walked two, while Norichika Aoki and Alex Gordon tallied a pair of hits and two runs scored for Kansas City, which improved to 7-7 on the young campaign.
“I was just pounding the strike zone today and being real aggressive with my fastball,” Shields said. “With that kind of combination, and our defense playing the way they did today, it’s a nice win for us.”
Scott Feldman (2-1) surrendered five runs — four earned — on nine hits and a walk over six frames for the Astros, who have lost four in a row and five of their last six.
“It seemed like they were just putting the bat on the ball early and often,” Feldman admitted of the Royals. “It was just kind of one of those nights.”
The Royals jumped out to a 5-0 lead after plating a run in the first, another in the second, two in the fourth and one more in the fifth.
Aoki led off the game with a double, advanced to third on a fielding error by right fielder George Springer and scored on an Eric Hosmer groundout two batters later.
Singles by Gordon, Billy Butler and Mike Moustakas brought home a run in the second, while Alcides Escobar’s two-out, two-run double into right-center in the fourth gave Kansas City a 4-0 advantage.
Salvador Perez’s RBI double in the fifth made it 5-0.
Houston got on the board in the home half when Alex Presley lifted a sacrifice fly to left that scored Chris Carter.