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It was the first time the Cardinals scored 10 or more runs in the first two innings since May 8, 2005, against San Diego, and their 17 hits in the game matched a season high.
Beltran was responsible for much of it in his return to Kansas City.
The six-time All-Star was drafted by the Royals in 1995, and drove in 100 or more runs four times over six-plus seasons. But the Royals traded him to Houston in June 2004, anticipating that they wouldn't be able to pay Beltran the princely sum that he would get on the open market.
He eventually signed a seven-year, $119 million contract with the Mets.
Beltran landed with the Cardinals this season after a short stop in San Francisco, and faced the Royals for the first time last week in St. Louis, going 6 for 14 and driving in a run.
Beltran picked up right where he left off on Friday night.
This time, the rest of the Cardinals' offense joined in the fun.
NOTES: The Royals optioned LHP Tommy Hottovy to Triple-A Omaha. ... St. Louis optioned OF Adron Chambers and 1B Matt Adams to Triple-A Memphis. ... The Cardinals have won nine of their last 12 in Kansas City. ... Freese and Holliday both reached base four times. ... Royals relievers lead the major leagues with 268 1-3 innings pitched this season. ... RHP Adam Wainwright starts Saturday for St. Louis. RHP Luis Mendoza goes to the mound for Kansas City.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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