Tuesday night, the Royals' bats continued their trend from
underachieving to exploding.
Overcoming deficits of 4-0 and 7-6, Kansas City won in the ninth
inning when first baseman Eric Hosmer's single scored second baseman
Omar Infante to secure an 8-7 triumph at sold-out Busch Stadium.
Reliever Wade Davis (5-1) pitched the eighth for the win and Greg
Holland picked up his 16th save for the Royals (28-30), who finished
a 4-2 road trip and start an eight-game homestand Wednesday night as
the Cardinals head across Missouri to complete the home-and-home
Trevor Rosenthal (0-3) gave up a first-pitch double to Infante with
one out in the ninth. Hosmer slapped an 0-1 pitch to left and
Infante easily beat Matt Holliday's throw.
"It went both ways," left fielder Alex Gordon said. "We came back
and so they did. It went back-and-forth. A lot of clutch hits by
both teams, so it was good for our team to get the clutch hits when
we needed them."
Since Dale Sveum replaced Pedro Grifol as hitting coach before
Thursday night's 8-6, 10-inning win in Toronto, Kansas City is
averaging 4.8 runs per game, scoring six or more runs in all four
wins during their trip.
Sveum said when his duties changed that the Royals weren't doing
enough damage on pitches up in the strike zone. That wasn't the case
in a six-run fifth, when they lit up Jaime Garcia for two doubles, a
triple and Gordon's three-run homer that capped the sudden rally and
gave them a 6-4 lead.
"I never felt like we were in real jeopardy," Kansas City manager
Ned Yost said. "I have always felt like this was a good offensive
team. I feel better about where we're at now than we were about 10
Still, the Royals needed another rally when center fielder Peter
Bourjos, who entered the game as part of a double-switch in the
sixth, launched a 422-foot homer in the bottom of the inning. That
gave St. Louis a 7-6 lead.
Kansas City erased that deficit in the eighth, reaching reliever Pat
Neshek for his first run since April 9. Shortstop Alcides Escobar,
whose triple opened scoring in the fifth, flipped a two-out flare
into right-center to plate catcher Salvador Perez with the
"I think he did that to me about two years ago," said Neshek of
Escobar. "I've had some games where my teammates made some great
plays and that changed the game. Tonight, that didn't happen for me.
It was a fitting ending to a bad homestand for St. Louis (30-29),
which went 2-7, losing its last three games. It was swept by Kansas
City at home for the first time since interleague play started in
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The Cardinals snapped a 20-inning scoreless streak in the second
when rookie second baseman Kolten Wong launched his first major
league homer, a two-out grand slam to right-center off a hanging
changeup from starter James Shields.
St. Louis tied it up in the fifth with two unearned runs. Rookie
right fielder Oscar Taveras lofted a sacrifice fly and shortstop
Jhonny Peralta grounded a two-out double down the left field to
plate first baseman Allen Craig.
Shields left in the sixth after allowing nine hits and seven runs,
five earned, over 5 1/3 innings, with four walks and one strikeout.
But the Royals bullpen shut things down by permitting just one hit
over 3 2/3 innings.
"That game was a grinder," Yost summed up. "The defense, the
offense, the pitching ... they grinded their way to a win. It was a
great game all the way around."
Garcia was touched for eight hits and six runs in five innings,
walking none and fanning three.
NOTES: St. Louis 2B Kolten Wong was selected the National League
Rookie of the Month for May. In 13 games after being called up from
Triple-A Memphis on May 15, Wong batted .333 with six RBIs and a
.418 on-base percentage. ... Kansas City LHP Bruce Chen (back)
started a rehab assignment Tuesday night for Double-A Northwest
Arkansas. Chen was 1-2 with a 7.45 ERA in four starts before going
on the disabled list retroactive to April 25. ... The Cardinals
honored OF Randal Grichuk and RHP Chris Perry as their Minor League
Player and Pitcher of the Month, respectively. Grichuk hit seven
homers at Memphis to earn his second call-up to St. Louis, while
Perry fanned 40 batters over 19 2/3 innings for Class A Peoria.
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