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ALDS GameThread: Houston Astros at Kansas City Royals - Game 2

The upstart Houston Astros made it back-to-back postseason victories in their return to playoff action with the win in the Wild Card game against the New York Yankees and the first game of their ALDS series with the Kansas City Royals.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Houston Astros took the first game of their ALDS matchup with the Kansas City Royals yesterday and today they send Scott Kazmir to the mound against Johnny Cueto as they try for a commanding lead in the five-game series.

Kazmir, acquired by the Astros from the Oakland A's, was (2-6) with a 4.17 ERA in 13 starts and 73 ⅓ IP for Houston, but he went (1-1) with a 2.11 ERA, three walks, 14 Ks and a .205/.241/.231 line against in three starts and 21 ⅓ IP against Kansas City this season.

He talked yesterday about facing the AL Central division winners for the fourth time this season.

"Their lineup, it's a great lineup that they battle every at-bat," Kazmir told reporters.

"It's a team that doesn't -- it's hard to get a good approach on those guys, because they don't strike out. They want their pitch and they won't stop until they get it.

"So you just have to attack the strike zone and get them in swing mode."

Royals' skipper Ned Yost talked about the luxury of having Johnny Cueto, acquired from the Cincinnati Reds earlier this season, lined up for this afternoon's game after they dropped the series opener.

"That's exactly why we got Johnny Cueto," Yost said. "If you lose Game 1, then you got Johnny to help you bounce back. And best-case scenario, you win Game 1 and then you've got Johnny to take it to a two-game lead. So that's why we got Johnny, for games like that."

Today's Lineups

HOUSTON ASTROS KANSAS CITY ROYALS
Jose Altuve - 2B Alcides Escobar - SS
George Springer - RF Ben Zobrist - 2B
Carlos Correa - SS Lorenzo Cain - CF
Colby Rasmus - LF Eric Hosmer - 1B
Evan Gattis - DH Kendrys Morales - DH
Luis Valbuena - 3B Mike Moustakas - 3B
Chris Carter - 1B Salvador Perez - C
Jason Castro - C Alex Gordon - LF
Jake Marisnick - CF Alex Rios - RF
Scott Kazmir - LHP Johnny Cueto - RHP

Cueto vs the Astros:

Royals PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SH SF IBB HBP GDP missG
Colby Rasmus 30 27 9 3 1 5 3 6 .333 .400 .556 .956
Luis Valbuena 22 19 4 2 2 3 2 .211 .318 .316 .634 1
Carlos Gomez 12 12 4 1 2 2 4 .333 .333 .917 1.250
Jason Castro 8 8 .000 .000 .000 .000 1
Mike Fiers 7 7 2 .000 .000 .000 .000
Jose Altuve 6 6 1 2 .167 .167 .167 .333
Jed Lowrie 3 3 1 .333 .333 .333 .667
Jonathan Villar 3 2 1 1 .000 .333 .000 .333
Chris Carter 2 2 1 1 .500 .500 1.000 1.500
Oliver Perez 2 1 1 1 1.000 1.000 1.000 2.000
Total 95 87 21 7 3 9 8 17 .241 .305 .425 .731 2

Kazmir vs the Royals:

Royals PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SH SF IBB HBP GDP missG
Alex Rios 57 55 12 3 2 1 6 2 12 .218 .246 .400 .646 1
Alex Gordon 36 34 6 2 1 2 1 10 .176 .200 .324 .524 1 4
Omar Infante 30 27 11 4 2 7 3 2 .407 .467 .778 1.244
Lorenzo Cain 27 24 4 1 2 2 3 .167 .259 .250 .509 1 1
Alcides Escobar 26 24 7 1 1 4 .292 .320 .333 .653 1 1
Eric Hosmer 24 23 9 1 1 4 .391 .417 .391 .808
Salvador Perez 22 18 4 1 1 5 3 2 .222 .318 .500 .818 1 2
Kendrys Morales 19 18 5 1 5 1 2 .278 .316 .333 .649
Mike Moustakas 14 13 2 1 2 .154 .143 .154 .297 1 1
Christian Colon 9 9 4 1 .444 .444 .556 1.000
Ben Zobrist 9 7 1 3 1 .143 .250 .143 .393 1 1
Jonny Gomes 6 6 3 .000 .000 .000 .000
Paulo Orlando 6 5 1 2 .000 .167 .000 .167
Jarrod Dyson 5 5 1 1 1 .200 .200 .200 .400
Drew Butera 2 2 1 .000 .000 .000 .000
Total 292 270 66 12 4 5 33 16 48 .244 .287 .374 .661 3 2 1 11