Royals catch fire to set season high for runs in rout of Astros

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- There was catcher's interference and batter's interference.

At one stretch, Houston got four hits on five pitches. Then Kansas City mounted a seven-run rally after it had two out and nobody on.

"Weird game," said Kansas City catcher Jason Kendall, a key figure in an oddity-filled night that finally ended with the Royals on top of the mistake-prone Astros 15-7.

"And there were about 1 million moths flying around from the seventh inning on," Kendall added, waving his hand back and fourth in front of his face as though the pesky things were bugging him still.

Yuniesky Betancourt's bases-loaded double keyed a seven-run, two-out rally in the fifth that finally put the Royals in command. Mike Aviles went 4 for 5 with a career-high four RBIs and Billy Butler, Alberto Callaspo and David DeJesus all had three hits as the Royals beat the Astros at home for just the second time in 10 games.

The Royals set a season high for runs and tied their season high with 20 hits.

"Something was weird out there," Houston manager Brad Mills said. "You don't see that many balls that are hit like that which aren't hit at anybody."

After the Astros scored five in the fourth, Felipe Paulino (1-8) took a 6-3 lead into the fifth and quickly got two outs. But then DeJesus singled, Butler walked and Jose Guillen reached on interference by catcher Humberto Quintero.

"That changed things," Quintero said. "He didn't hit my glove. I've seen the video. The ball hit my glove. The umpire said he heard something. He didn't hear the bat."

Callaspo's RBI single made it 6-4, then Aviles' single tied it. A walk reloaded the bases and Betancourt hit the next pitch over the head of left fielder Carlos Lee for a three-run double. Scott Podsednik's RBI single off Tim Byrdak brought home the seventh run.

"Everybody in baseball will tell you the toughest RBI to get is with two out," said Butler. "So you have to give a lot of credit to our hitters."

Paulino, who had posted a 1.13 ERA over his three previous starts, went 4 2/3 innings and was charged with 10 runs -- eight earned -- on 11 hits. The right-hander missed becoming the first Houston pitcher since 1998 to go eight-plus innings in four consecutive starts.

Kanekoa Texeira (1-1) pitched two innings of scoreless relief for his first major league win.

The Royals got a rare double play to end the third when Michael Bourn tried to steal second with one out. Jeff Keppinger struck out, and was called for batter interference, making Bourn out. Kendall was credited with both putouts, going as a double play, 2 unassisted.

"It happens an awful lot. They just don't call it," Kendall said. "It's the hardest throw in baseball to make when you have a guy in front of you, and the bat's hitting you in the face and it's not called. It kind of interferes with you. The bat hits me in the face and I end up hitting him with my arm."

Typifying the kind of night it was for the Astros, Butler doubled in the sixth and came around on back-to-back wild pitches by Casey Daigle.

"[Quintero] got down there for them but they just got away," said Mills. "That's baseball."

Aviles had an RBI single to make 12-6 and then made it 14-7 with an RBI groundout. KC's 15th run scored when Keppinger let a routine grounder to second roll under his glove for the Astros' third error.

"There was a lot of weird stuff going on out there," Kansas City manager Ned Yost said. "But I'll take the result."

Houston's first five batters all hit safely and scored off Kansas City starter Kyle Davies in the fourth for a 6-3 lead. The last four hits came on just five pitches.

Lee, Pedro Feliz and Jason Michaels all had RBI singles and Bourn had a two-run double. Michaels hit a solo home run in the eighth.

"Kyle was just struggling to get the ball down, and they were up there ambushing him," said Yost.

Game notes
LF Podsednik made a terrific diving catch of Quintero's sinking liner in the sixth. ...The Royals also had 20 hits in Boston on May 28. ... It was the most runs the Royals scored in a game in almost three years.