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Astros win fifth straight with sweep in Kansas City

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The Houston Astros are doing something they're not used to doing a lot of -- winning. On Wednesday, the Astros not only swept the Kansas City Royals on the road, but managed to pick up their fifth straight win. They crowned the Royals 9-3 to end a road trip with a winning record for the first time in four years.

The entire Houston lineup seemed to be on target, with eight of their nine starters registering a hit. Rookie sensation George Springer picked up a home run and reached base the first four times he came to the plate. He has now gone deep six times in as many games. Astros manager Bo Porter offered pleased comments about Springer and the overall road trip.

He continues to swing a hot bat, and again, what’s impresive is that he’s attacking the right pitches. Anytime you go to three cities and end up 6-4 on a 10-day road trip, that’s a good job all the way around.

Chris Carter returned to the lineup on Wednesday with a bang. After missing the last three games, Carter showed up and belted two home runs and picked up the final four runs of the afternoon. It was a much needed day for him, as he entered the game batting just .192 with six home runs on the season.

Jarred Cosart picked up the win, although a high pitch count called for his exit after just five innings. He allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits. Porter said there was no sense in sending him back to the mound in the sixth with his pitch count already at 95.

Danny Duffy had a rocky day on the mound for the Royals. After a near-perfect outing last time out, Duffy got blasted from the start. He gave up five runs through the opening three runs, as Houston teed off on him at every available opportunity.

After the series, both teams seem to be polar opposites in numbers. Houston has won five straight as they head back home for the weekend, while the Royals have dropped four stright and seven of their last nine. Royals manager Ned Yost noted after the game they need to get things figured out quick else he fears the team could be in trouble as the season wears on.

Both teams are back in action on Thursday night. Kansas City hits the road to face Toronto, while the Astros are back at Minute Maid Park to start a weekend set with Baltimore.