KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Royals traded for Johnny Cueto, and then used Yordano Ventura's seven sharp innings to beat Dallas Keuchel and the Houston Astros 5-1 on Sunday.
Ventura (5-7) allowed one run and six hits in just his second win in his last seven starts. The right-hander, who won 14 games last year, was demoted to Triple-A Omaha on Tuesday and then recalled the next day after the Royals learned left-hander Jason Vargas would miss the rest of the year with an elbow injury.
The Royals announced during the game that they had acquired Cueto from Cincinnati for minor league left-handers Brandon Finnegan, John Lamb and Cody Reed, drawing a big cheer at Kauffman Stadium.
Cueto was one of the top starters on the market. He won 20 games last season and is 7-6 with a 2.62 ERA in 19 starts this year.
Keuchel (12-5), who started for the American League in the All-Star Game, was tagged for a season-high 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings. He also allowed five runs, matching a season high.
The Royals got off to a fast start, scoring four times in the first inning. Keuchel allowed a total of four first-inning runs in his first 20 starts of the year.
Kansas City opened with three straight singles to load the bases. After consecutive grounders led to a pair of forceouts at home, Omar Infante hit a two-run single and Cheslor Cuthbert doubled home two more runs.
Cuthbert has hit in all five of his games in the majors.
Lorenzo Cain added a two-out drive in the second for his 11th homer. He had two hits after going 3 for 21 in his previous five games.
Houston got its only run in the second. Evan Gattis led off with a triple and scored on Colby Rasmus' single.
Astros: INF Jed Lowrie (right thumb ligament tear) is 2 for 7 in three games with Double-A Corpus Christi. "He hasn't fielded a ground ball yet in rehab, which I'm very frustrated with," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. After having Sunday off, Lowrie will play Monday and Tuesday and then be re-evaluated.
Royals: LF Alex Gordon (left groin strain) is throwing and hopes to take swings off the tee this week. "Baby steps," Gordon said.
Astros: After an off day, RHP Collin McHugh (11-5, 4.25 ERA), who is 5-2 with a 2.85 ERA in his past seven outings, starts Tuesday against the Angels.
Royals: RHP Edinson Volquez (9-5, 3.15 ERA) starts Monday at Cleveland as the Royals open a 10-game trip.