Astros-Royals Preview

The Associated Press

Following the worst home losing streak in team history, the Kansas City Royals have a chance to match their longest winning streak of the season there.

Providing Ervin Santana with some much-needed run support would certainly help their chances.

The Royals will try for their fourth straight victory Saturday night when they take on a Houston Astros team that's slumping since a season-best win streak.

Billy Butler's double in the eighth inning Friday drove in Eric Hosmer with the go-ahead run as Kansas City (26-32) rallied for a 4-2 victory over the Astros (22-40).

Butler has gone 13 for 23 in a seven-game hitting streak at home.

''It's a lot of fun, man. It was a big win for us. We're starting to turn things around, we're starting a little winning streak and we want to keep it going," said Hosmer, 4 for 7 with three runs in the last two games.

The Royals had lost 11 in a row at Kansas City before taking their last three there. They won four straight at Kauffman Stadium from April 30-May 5.

Kansas City scored 27 runs during a 2-11 stretch before plating 15 in the past three contests.

Santana (3-5, 3.03 ERA) certainly hasn't been the beneficiary of that kind of recent production, as he has an AL-worst 2.68 run-support average.

The right-hander has gone 0-4 with a 3.92 ERA in his last six starts, receiving nine runs of support in that stretch. He allowed one unearned run and three hits over seven innings of a 3-1 loss at Texas on Sunday, not getting a decision.

He'll make his second career start against the Astros, having faced them in 2007 with the Los Angeles Angels.

Santana will take on a Houston team that went 2 for 15 with runners in scoring position Friday. The Astros have dropped three of four since a season-high six-game win streak, totaling four runs in the past three losses.

"That was real tough to drop a game like that, especially coming in close,'' said reliever Josh Fields, who gave up Butler's double in the eighth.

The Astros will try for their seventh win in eight road games with Erik Bedard (1-2, 4.76) set to take the mound. The left-hander limited the Angels to one run over seven innings of a 2-1 win Monday for his first victory in 12 starts, dating to last season.

He's posted a 2.79 ERA in his last five outings, receiving just 13 runs of support in that stretch. Bedard has gone 4-2 with a 2.93 ERA in seven career starts against the Royals.

Houston's Brandon Barnes went 2 for 5 on Friday and is 6 for 16 during a four-game hitting streak.

Teammate Jose Altuve could return to the lineup Saturday after missing the last two games because of a groin injury.

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