Zack Greinke, Astros can’t slow Royals

KANSAS CITY — Jason Castro came through with the clutch hit the Astros sorely needed in the seventh inning on Wednesday night, a two-run, pinch-hit single to put his team ahead. The good feelings didn’t last long in the visiting dugout.

Hunter Dozier smacked a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh off reliever Blake Taylor to send the Astros to their fourth consecutive loss — third in a row to the last-place Royals — 3-2 at Kauffman Stadium. Houston is 22-21 since June 27.

The Astros nearly tied the game in the ninth, but Chas McCormick was thrown at home on Jose Altuve’s two-out single off reliever Scott Barlow. After a 1 minute, 12 second review, the call was ruled as stands.

Astros starter Zack Greinke took a no-decision despite allowing just one run and five hits in six innings, doing it without issuing a walk or recording a strikeout. It was the first time in his career that he didn’t strike out a batter in a start that went at least three innings.

Royals starter Brady Singer, who had gone 0-4 with a 5.92 ERA since he won his last game on June 1, baffled the Astros for 6 2/3 innings before they mounted a two-out rally in the seventh. That was capped by Castro’s bases-loaded single that put Houston ahead, 2-1.

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