HOUSTON — Dallas Keuchel remained perfect at home with seven gutsy innings and Chris Carter homered Sunday, leading the Astros to a 4-2 win over the Royals to take a 2-1 lead in the American League Division Series.
The Astros can wrap up the best-of-five series today.
Keuchel, who worked out of jam after jam, was 15-0 at home this season, a modern major-league record.
"The ball in Dallas Keuchel's hand brings an awful lot of confidence to a lot of people. Including me," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said.
Luke Gregerson gave up a leadoff homer in the ninth to Alex Gordon before finishing off the Astros' first playoff game in Houston in 10 years with a four-out save. It was his first save of more than three outs in three years.
"You get to this type of scenario and you don't capitalize, you get what happens today," said Kansas City manager Ned Yost.
Jason Castro drove in two runs with a single in the fifth that made it 2-1. Carlos Gomez, who has a rib muscle strain, started for the first time in the series and had an RBI single in the sixth.
Carter's soaring solo homer came on Danny Duffy's first pitch of the seventh and pushed the lead to 4-1. Carter, batting .199 in the regular season but .455 in the postseason, was a triple shy of the cycle.
Kansas City starter Edinson Volquez fell to 0-3 in his postseason career.
The Astros delighted a rowdy, playoff-starved sellout crowd of 42,674, many sporting fake beards in support of Keuchel. "Electric crowd, and it was 10 years coming," said Keuchel, who finished with a season-high 124 pitches.
Today, Houston rookie right-hander Lance McCullers will make his postseason debut. McCullers, who turned 22 on Oct. 2, seems undaunted. "I don't view myself as a young kid when I go out there," he said.