HOUSTON -- Jose Altuve kickstarted the Astros' three-run third inning with his seventh home run, matching a career high, while Lance McCullers allowed just one run over seven innings as the Astros topped the Royals, 6-1, on Monday.
Chris Carter also launched a towering, 421-foot home run to lead off the fifth -- his 14th of the season -- but this Astros' win didn't just boil down to the long ball. Patient at-bats from the Major League leaders in strikeouts led to three straight walks in the second inning -- the last of which came with the bases loaded to put the first run on the board -- and inflated Royals starter Joe Blanton's pitch count.
Chris Abshire is a contributor to MLB.com and Chandler Rome is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.