(The Sports Xchange) - Ben Zobrist drove in Alcides Escobar with the go-ahead run in the seventh inning as the Kansas City Royals rallied from a three-run deficit to defeat the Houston Astros 5-4 on Friday and even the American League Division Series at one win each.
Zobrist, acquired in a July 28 trade with Oakland, grounded a single to left on a curveball by Houston reliever Will Harris that scored Escobar, who led off the inning with a triple to right center.
It was a survival game for the Royals after losing the opener at home on Thursday. They play the next two games in Houston and on Sunday face left-hander Dallas Keuchel, who is 15-0 this season at Minute Maid Park.
Royals relievers Kelvin Herrera, Ryan Madson and Wade Davis shut down the Astros in the final three innings. Herrera picked up the victory and Davis logged his first postseason save.
Harris, the fourth of six Astros pitchers, took the loss.
The Astros jumped out to a 4-1 lead but managed just two singles after the third inning.
Both starters — Astros left-hander Scott Kazmir and Royals right-hander Johnny Cueto — were acquired in late July trades to bolster their club’s chances for the postseason.
Kazmir, who was acquired from Oakland, departed after 5 1/3 innings, charged with three runs, five hits and a walk.
Cueto, obtained in a July 26 trade with Cincinnati, had a shaky first three innings, permitting four runs and six hits, including a home run by left fielder Colby Rasmus, but only one hit after that. Cueto’s final line was four runs, seven hits and three walks in six innings.
The Royals won a crucial challenge in the ninth when Davis picked off pinch-runner Carlos Gomez at first base. After being called safe on the field, the call was reversed after a 62-second review.
Editing by Andrew Both