KANSAS CITY – Johnny Cueto gave the Kansas City Royals what they wanted when they acquired him in midseason from the Cincinnati Reds.
Cueto was masterful Wednesday night, giving up only two runs and two hits in eight innings as the Royals beat the Houston Astros 7-2 in Game 5 of the AL Division Series. He struck out eight and walked none.
The only hits Cueto gave up were a single by Evan Gattis in the second inning followed by Luis Valbuena's homer. He retiring the final 19 batters he faced.
When Wade Davis breezed through the ninth, the Royals poured onto the field to celebrate.
The defending AL champs will host the Toronto Blue Jays in Game 1 on Friday night. The teams have met once before in the ALCS with the Royals winning in seven games in 1985 — they would go on to beat the St. Louis Cardinals for their only World Series triumph.
Kansas City took a 4-2 lead with three runs in the fifth. Alex Rios' two-run double in the fifth put the Royals ahead 4-2. Ben Zobrist's sacrifice fly scored Rios.
Kendrys Morales capped the festive night with a three-run homer off Dallas Keuchel in the eighth to put it away.
Collin McHugh, who won the divisional series opener for Houston, allowed three runs in four-plus innings. His bullpen fared little better just two days after it blew a four-run, eighth-inning lead to set up Game 5.