Fister can't execute in first loss since April

Astros righty tagged for 3 homers in series finale against Royals

Fister can't execute in first loss since April

KANSAS CITY -- For the better part of Sunday afternoon, Astros right-hander Doug Fister was as efficient and controlling of the tempo on the mound as he's done for the past six weeks. Things unraveled quickly in the seventh, though, and the Royals handed Fister his first loss since April 25 by rallying for a 6-1 win at Kauffman Stadium.

In addition to having his personal seven-game winning streak snapped, Fister's streak of starting 10 consecutive games won by the Astros also came to an end. He gave up four runs and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings.

"I think the biggest thing was execution," Fister said. "In the last inning, I didn't quite get the job done and Ian [Kennedy] pitched well and was a lot better than I was today. My job is to go out there and give our guys a chance, but I didn't do that today, but I have to come back in here in five days and get back on the horse."

Fister gave up a solo homer to Kendrys Morales in the fourth and sent down the next eight batters before Morales tagged him again, this timing sending a 3-0 sinker over the right-field-wall to make it 2-1. Cheslor Cuthbert socked a two-run homer later in the inning to make it 4-1.

Cuthbert's two-run home run

"I think the 3-0 home run was a little bit of shell-shocking for him," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "It really happened fast. But it's tough because it takes a little bit away from how good he was for most of the game. It leaves a bad taste in his mouth for sure."

Fister (8-4) tied a career high with the three homers he gave up while yielding more than three runs for the first time since April 14, also against the Royals.

"You know what, having a short-term memory here is most important," Fister said. "For me, I always try to take the mindset as soon as I give up a home run, I have to get right back up on the horse, get on the mound and attack the next guy, and that's what I tried to do. ...

"I've got to go back and attack him with my sinker. I can't let one pitch affect the rest of the game. Big league ballgame, most of the times it comes down to two or three pitches, and Ian made his pitches today and I didn't."

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.