It wasn’t just a lucky seventh try Saturday night by Ervin Santana that, finally, produced his 100th career victory. It was, instead, that he received some long overdue run support. Seven runs of support — now there’s a lucky seven — as the Royals rolled to a 7-2 victory over the Houston Astros at Kauffman Stadium. That makes four straight victories overall and clinched a second straight series win. “We got out to a lead early,” said first baseman Eric Hosmer, who contributed two hits and two walks to a balanced 10-hit attack. “That's what we've been trying to do is get those guys some support so they don't have to execute their pitches that much more every time. Just let them go out there and throw their stuff and see if (the opposition) can hit it.” Santana, 4-5, didn’t waste the support. He limited the Astros to one hit — one runner — over the first five innings while the Royals built a 6-0 lead in front of a crowd of 28,055 on a gorgeous late spring night. “When you’ve got a lead like that,” he admitted, “you can pitch more comfortably. You don’t have to worry as much about what the situation is.” How overdue was all this? The Royals averaged just 2.68 runs through Santana’s first 11 starts while he was on the mound — the lowest run support for any qualifying American League pitcher. (James Shields ranks third on that list, by the way.) This was Santana’s seventh bid for No. 100; the previous six resulted in four losses and two no-decisions despite a 3.92 ERA in that span. And, yes, getting No. 100 was sweet. “It means a lot to me,” Santana said. “It’s a dream come true. It’s very exciting for me. It’s a long process. It’s a lot of bad outings, and a lot of good outings. It’s here, and I’m going to enjoy it.” Santana permitted two runs and five hits in seven innings, which nudged his season’s ERA down to 2.99, before handing a five-run lead to J.C. Gutierrez, who closed out the victory with two scoreless innings.
Ervin Santana gets 100th career win as Royals beat Astros 7-2
Kansas City Star | Jun 9