KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Bobby Witt Jr. had four hits, including two home runs, and five RBIs and the Kansas City Royals used a nine-run first inning to defeat the Houston Astros 13-3 Thursday to complete a three-game sweep and extend their winning streak to seven games.

Vinnie Pasquantino, who came into Wednesday’s game hitting .108 with no RBIs, was 3-for-5 with three RBIs and now is hitting .222 with eight RBIs.

The Royals completed a perfect seven-game homestand against the White Sox and Astros. It’s just the third time in franchise history they’ve played at least seven games on a homestand without a loss. The other two: seven games in 1988 and eight games in 1985, the year they won their first World Series.

Brady Singer (2-0) allowed one run and five hits in five innings.

Hunter Brown (0-2) got only two outs, but allowed nine runs and 11 hits.

The Royals sent 15 men to the plate in the first inning, tying a club record with 11 hits in the inning (also set in 1986 and 2006). It was the second straight game they’ve batted around in an inning, sending 11 men to the plate in a seven-run inning Wednesday night.

Maikel Garcia (two singles), Witt (a single and a homer) and Pasquantino (two singles) each had two hits and two RBIs in the first inning. Everyone in the starting lineup had at least one hit in the inning except Kyle Isbel.

The Astros had baserunners in nearly every inning, but got only a solo home run in the fourth from Yainer Diaz and a pair of runs in the sixth, snapping a 19 1/3-inning scoreless streak by the Royals bullpen.


Astros: RHP Justin Verlander is scheduled for another rehab start this weekend prior to his potential return to the rotation. He’s been on the injured list with a right shoulder issue. … Manager Joe Espada said LHP Framber Valdez averted the worst-case scenario with elbow soreness that put him on the IL on Monday. “The soreness is pretty much all gone,” Espada said. “Now it’s time to let him play catch in the next few days and get him built up.”


Astros: return to Houston for a six-game homestand against Texas and Atlanta. RHP J.P. Franco (0-1, 4.78 ERA) will take the mound Friday against RHP Dane Dunning (1-1, 4.15 ERA) for Texas.

Royals: go on a six-game road trip to New York and Chicago. RHP Michael Wacha (1-0, 2.25 ERA) will start Friday against the Mets’ RHP Luis Severino (0-1, 3.60 ERA).


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