KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Doug Fister was working on a really nice outing before he got to the seventh inning.
Fister served up homers by Kendrys Morales and Cheslor Cuthbert in Kansas City's five-run seventh, and the Houston Astros had their seven-game win streak snapped by a 6-1 loss to the Royals on Sunday.
"It was a good day until the homers," Astros catcher Evan Gattis said.
Gattis hit a leadoff drive in the sixth and the game was tied at 1 before Kendrys Morales led off the Kansas City seventh with a home run on a 3-0 count. Morales also hit a solo shot in the fourth.
Cuthbert's one-out drive with Alcides Escobar aboard made it 4-1.
"Fister threw very well, until the seventh got us," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "I think the 3-0 home run was a little bit shell-shocking for him. Obviously Morales had hit the home run earlier in the game. He comes back the next one, 3-0, that was a tough one."
"It really happened fast," Hinch added. "It takes a little bit away from how good Doug was for most of the game and leaves a bad taste in his mouth, I'm sure."
Fister was pulled with two out. Left-handed reliever Tony Sipp gave up the final two runs on an Eric Hosmer double.
"In a big league ballgame, most times it comes down to two or three pitches," Fister said. "Ian (Kennedy) made those pitches today. I didn't."
Kennedy (6-6) struck out 11 while pitching seven innings of one-run ball for Kansas City. He allowed three hits and walked one.
It was an important performance for Kansas City after Edinson Volquez and Chris Young were roughed up in blowout losses in the first two games of the series, lasting a total of 3 1-3 innings.
"Last night I passed him after the game and he said, 'You need for me to go nine?'" Royals manager Ned Yost said. "I said, 'No, just give me a strong seven.' And that's exactly what he did. That's a real good hitting team over there and to hold them to three hits, seven strong innings, he just pitched tremendous and gave us an opportunity to let things sort out in that bullpen."
Astros star Jose Altuve singled in the fourth to extend his streak of reaching base safely to 29 straight games, matching his career high set last year and the longest active streak in the majors.
After 26 runs in the first two games, the Astros had only four hits off Kennedy and two relievers.
"We didn't put back-to-back runners on base, I think, the whole day," Hinch said. "It was tough for us offensively."
Royals: RHP Kris Medlen, who is on the disabled list with rotator cuff inflammation, threw 4 2/3 innings for Triple-A Omaha on Saturday, allowing an unearned run and two hits. "He's probably not ready," Yost said. "He's throwing the ball good. We need to get him built up, need to get him some consistency. He really took a good step yesterday in terms of his command. But, as to need, we've got him slated for more (rehab) starts."
Astros: RHP Collin McHugh, who starts Monday at Los Angeles, is 4-2 with 2.82 ERA in eight career starts against the Angels.
Royals: LHP Danny Duffy, who starts Monday against the Cardinals, is 3-3 with a 3.10 ERA in 13 appearances against National League clubs. St. Louis will counter with RHP Adam Wainwright.