KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Collin McHugh held light-hitting Kansas City at bay over seven innings and the Houston Astros beat the Royals 3-0 Tuesday night for their first four-game winning streak since last September.
The Astros own the worst record in the AL, yet now have won four in a row on the road for the first time since taking six straight away from Minute Maid Park last May 29-June 3.
Houston rookie George Springer’s homer streak ended at four games. He hit two flyballs to the warning track and finished 1 for 4.
Matt Dominguez hit an RBI single in the fourth and Houston tacked on two more runs off reliever Tim Collins in the eighth.
Astros relievers Tony Sipp and Chad Qualls breezed through the final two innings without allowing a hit to complete the shutout.
McHugh (3-3) scattered five hits while striking out nine without issuing a walk to earn his first win in five starts. He stranded a runner at third base in the second inning and runners at second and third in the fifth, but otherwise cruised through the Kansas City lineup.
The only run Jeremy Guthrie (2-4) allowed came when Dominguez followed up a pair of one-out walks to Dexter Fowler and Jason Castro with a single in the fourth inning.
Guthrie left after allowing six hits and three walks in six innings. The right-hander dodged plenty of trouble, inducing double-play grounders in the third and fifth, but still got stuck with his fourth straight loss. His last win came April 9 against Tampa Bay.
During a nine-start winless streak, Guthrie has allowed just one run on three occasions.
The Royals lost for the sixth time in their last eight games, and their pop-gun offense has had a lot to do with the futility. Kansas City has been held to three or fewer runs in four of its last five games, including the 9-2 pounding that Houston dished out on Monday night.
Royals manager Ned Yost’s frustration boiled over in the sixth inning. He went out to check on Guthrie with the bases loaded and two outs, and was returning to the dugout after their discussion when plate umpire Kerwin Danley met him near the mound.
After saying something to Danley, Yost was immediately ejected.
Meanwhile, McHugh continued to carve up the Royals’ batting order. He struck out designated hitter Billy Butler twice, silenced Eric Hosmer’s bat and retired the last eight batters he faced.
NOTES: Royals RHP Yordano Ventura will miss his next start due to a valgus extension overload, a condition that causes pain in the elbow. He left Monday night’s game in the third inning. An MRI on Tuesday came back negative. ... The Royals have been shut out four times this season. ... The Astros left 11 runners on base. ... Houston RHP Jarred Cosart is due to start Wednesday’s series finale. LHP Danny Duffy is on the mound for Kansas City.