By Jeffrey Flanagan and Brian McTaggart / MLB.com
HOUSTON -- The Royals pulled off a stunning comeback on Monday afternoon, charging from four runs down by scoring five times in the eighth inning to shock the Astros, 9-6, and even the best-of-five American League Division Series at two games apiece.
Minute Maid Park was rocking after Houston scored three times in the seventh to take a 6-2 lead on a two-run homer by rookie shortstop Carlos Correa -- his second of the game -- and a solo shot by Colby Rasmus. Things changed quickly.
In a comeback reminiscent of the Royals' dramatic win over the A's in last year's AL Wild Card Game, Kansas City began the eighth with four consecutive singles off reliever Will Harris, and all four scored. After Tony Sipp replaced Harris, the Royals tied the game at 6 when a grounder off the bat of Kendrys Moralesskipped off the mound and glanced off the glove of Correa, allowing a pair to score. Alex Gordon's bases-loaded groundout to second base pushed the go-ahead run across.
"That was an unbelievable inning," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "I think we ended up seeing like 53 pitches in the eighth inning. I mean, that just shows you the quality at-bats that we had, at-bat after at-bat after at-bat. So it was a great inning right there."
Eric Hosmer blasted a two-run homer in the ninth inning to make it 9-6, sending the Royals back to Kansas City with a ton of momentum heading into a winner-take-all Game 5 on Wednesday at Kauffman Stadium.
"Well, the eighth clearly wasn't a good inning," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "They put together some good at-bats. They put, what, five or six singles in a row. Had the ground ball up the middle.
"They just never quit. They put together really good at-bats, and we couldn't get the inning to end in any way."
Royals starter Yordano Ventura worked five innings and gave up the lead when Correa hit a two-out double into the right-field corner in the fifth to score George Springer from first base and put Houston ahead, 3-2.
Correa's second homer -- a two-run shot in the seventh -- pushed the lead to 5-2, and red-hot Rasmus followed with a solo homer to right for his fourth homer in this year's postseason. The Astros tied a playoff club record with four homers.
"It's still a tied [series] and [we] have to go to their house now," Sipp said. "It's not the most ideal environment, but if we can go there and win there, it's just as sweet as if we could have got this one today."