Royals hold off Astros in spring finale
KC starter Bautista sharp; Late Houston rally falls short
HOUSTON -- The Houston Astros fell short of their bid for a come-from-behind win, dropping a 9-6 decision to the Kansas City Royals Sunday afternoon before 31,470 at Minute Maid Park. The game marked the exhibition season finale for both teams.The Royals mounted a 9-0 lead after six frames, beginning with a four-run second. Angel Berroa knocked a two-run double off right-hander Brandon Duckworth, who logged two quick strikeouts before allowing a two-run homer to Alberto Castillo. Kansas City added three in the fourth behind a solo homer by Berroa and an RBI double by Mark Teahen. Tony Graffanino added a run-scoring single. The Astros ended a 15-inning scoring drought with a five-run seventh off Billy Buckner, started by Chris Burke's RBI groundout to score Willy Taveras. Orlando Palmeiro contributed a pinch-hit RBI double, followed by Mike Lamb's run-scoring single down the right field line. Luke Scott knocked a two-run homer to cap the inning. The Astros added one last run in the eighth on a Palmeiro sacrifice fly. The Astros open the regular season at home with the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday at 6:05 p.m. CT. The Royals open in Detroit on Monday at 1:05 p.m. ET.
Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.