By KRISTIE RIEKEN
AP Sports Writer
HOUSTON (AP) -- Dallas Keuchel allowed seven hits in eight innings to lead the Houston Astros to a 4-0 win over the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night.
The performance comes after Keuchel (10-3) threw a six-hit shutout in a win over the New York Yankees in his previous start. Keuchel struck out seven and didn't walk a batter to lower his ERA to 2.03. Pat Neshek allowed one hit in the ninth.
George Springer had a two-run homer in the third inning. Jose Altuve drove in a run in the fifth to help Houston to the victory.
The Astros have taken the first two games of this matchup of teams with the best records in the American League. Houston is 46-34 and Kansas City is 44-30.
Kansas City starter Danny Duffy (2-4) allowed six hits and four runs in 6 2-3 innings in his second start since returning from the disabled list.
Keuchel has been a workhorse for the Astros, working at least six innings in 28 straight games, the longest active streak in the majors.
Lorenzo Cain had three hits for Kansas City, including two doubles, but the rest of the lineup fizzled. The Royals produced more than one hit in only one inning while being shut out for the second time in a week.
Keuchel got a little help from his defense when Springer robbed Omar Infante of a hit to center field. Springer raced and made an over-the-shoulder catch for the third out of the seventh inning.
Marwin Gonzalez singled with two outs in the third inning before Springer's soaring shot, which bounced off the foul pole in left field to make it 2-0 and snapped Springer out of an 0 for 8 slump.
Evan Gattis tripled with one out in the fourth inning. The fly ball sailed just out of reach of the glove of Cain, who raced up Tal's Hill in center to try and grab it and instead crashed to the ground and into the padded wall after missing coming up short. Gattis already has four triples this season after tripling just once in his first two years in the majors.
Chris Carter walked on a wild pitch by Duffy, which sailed over catcher Drew Butera's head, and allowed Gattis to score and make it 3-0.
Springer drew a one-out walk in the fifth inning before scoring on a double by Altuve to push Houston's lead to 4-0.
Kansas City shortstop Alcides Escobar, who was scratched from Monday's game with a bruise on his index finger, went 1 for 4.
Royals: 1B Eric Hosmer missed a second straight game and will likely miss Wednesday's game too with a sprained left ring finger. Manager Ned Yost said he isn't sure when Hosmer will return, but doesn't expect him to be out too long. Hosmer said he was feeling better on Tuesday and that most of the swelling was gone.
Astros: OF Colby Rasmus was out for the fourth straight game because of a skin infection on his left arm caused by a bug bite. Manager A.J. Hinch said Rasmus spent Monday night in the hospital receiving intravenous antibiotics to try to eliminate the infection and that he remained there on Tuesday. Hinch said they hope Rasmus responds to treatment and can avoid going to the disabled list. ... OF Jake Marisnick, who is on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring, will begin a rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Fresno on Wednesday. ... RHP Scott Feldman (arthroscopic knee surgery) threw 45 pitches in a simulated game on Tuesday and Hinch said he looked good. Feldman will throw a bullpen in two days and then likely go on a rehabilitation assignment.
Houston rookie Vince Velasquez (0-0) tries for his first win in his fifth major league start when he opposes Kansas City's Edinson Volquez (8-4) in the series finale. Velasquez has a 3.72 ERA, but has not factored in the decision in any of his first four starts. Volquez looks for his fifth straight win.
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