HOUSTON (AP) — Brian Bixler drove in a career-high three runs on three hits, including his first career homer, and Justin Maxwell and Brian Bogusevic also homered as the Houston Astros held off the Kansas City Royals for a 9-7 win Monday night.
J.A. Happ (5-7) yielded four hits and two runs in 6-plus innings to break a four-game losing streak. It was his first start since allowing 11 hits and eight runs — both career highs — in Houston’s 10-0 loss to San Francisco in which Matt Cain threw a perfect game.
Maxwell hit a two-run homer after Bogusevic’s solo shot in Houston’s five-run eighth inning.
Jonathan Sanchez (1-3) allowed six hits and four runs in six innings in his second start since a month-long stint on the disabled list with tendinitis in his left biceps.
Things got dicey for the Astros in the ninth with a tough outing by closer Brett Myers, who allowed four consecutive singles with one out to make it 9-3.
The Royals got another run on a sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Mitch Maier and Yuniesky Betancourt’s bases-loaded single scored two more.
Billy Butler had an RBI single to get Kansas City within 9-7 and bring loud boos from the crowd. The eighth hit it of the inning, a single by Jeff Francoeur, chased Myers, bringing in Xavier Cedeno, who retired Mike Moustakas to get his first save.
Bixler’s solo homer came on a shot to the Crawford Boxes in left field that tied it 1 in the first. Maxwell walked and later scored from first on an error by Sanchez when he badly missed a throw to first base on a pickoff attempt to make it 2-1.