Thursday, June 05, 2014
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Carpenter's Fifth Hit Lifts Cardinals Past Royals In 11th

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[June 05, 2014]  KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Third baseman Matt Carpenter was dominant at the plate, while right-hander Adam Wainwright was just as dominant on the mound.

Carpenter had his first career five-hit game and drove in two runs, including the go-ahead run in the 11th inning, as the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Kansas City Royals 5-2 Wednesday night.

Carpenter's double off right-hander Kelvin Herrera (1-2) scored center fielder Peter Bourjos, who walked and stole second, for the first run in the 11th.

"Kelvin was just erratic, kinda all over the place, up in the zone," Royals manager Ned Yost said.

Carpenter finished 5-for-5 with two doubles, a walk and scored two runs. He became the first Cardinal to stroke five hits in a game since Ryan Ludwick on Sept. 4, 2009. Carpenter is hitting .500 (13-for-26) in six games at Kauffman Stadium.

First baseman Allen Craig topped off the three-run 11th with a two-run single.

"It was just one of those gut-check games," Craig said. "We're not going to stop competing."
 


Left-hander Sam Freeman (1-0) picked up the victory with a perfect 10th inning, while Pat Neshek logged his first big league save with a perfect 11th inning.

Wainwright did not allow a hit until the sixth inning, and he yielded four hits in eight-plus innings. However, he had to settle for a no-decision as the Royals rallied to tie the score with two runs in the ninth.

"You lose the lead and a start like that from Waino, there are a lot of teams that will roll over in that situation, but the guys stepped up," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.

Wainwright struck out first baseman Eric Hosmer for the fourth time to open the ninth, but Hosmer reached when he swung at a wild pitch. After designated hitter Billy Butler's single, closer Trevor Rosenthal replaced Wainwright.

Left fielder Alex Gordon walked to load the bases. Hosmer scored on catcher Salvador Perez's fielder's choice groundout. Right fielder Lorenzo Cain's singled home pinch runner Pedro Ciriaco to tie the game. Rosenthal, who took the loss Tuesday, blew his third save in 19 chances.

"Wainwright pitched a great game," Cain said. "He's an unbelievable pitcher. When we tied the game, I thought we had them. We tried to spoil it for him at the end, almost pulled away with it, but fell short.

"Wainwright paints. He's outside corner, insider corner, two-seam and cutting it away. He'll flip you a slow curveball. He was mixing all his pitches really well. He kept us all off balance, everybody except Esky."

Wainwright lost his no-hitter when shortstop Alcides Escobar laced a single to right to lead off the sixth on a hanging slider. Escobar lined out to shortstop to end the ninth with a runner on second base.

"When I hit it, I was thinking for a moment and saying, 'Base hit, base hit, come on.' I hit that ball really good," Escobar said.

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Escobar had two of the four hits off Wainwright.

"That guy is really good all the time," Escobar said. "All of his pitches were down in the zone. He pitches inside, outside and with a really good curveball."

Carpenter led off the St. Louis seventh with a double to right. When rookie left fielder Randal Gruichuk put down a bunt, left-hander Jason Vargas fielded it and threw to third, but Carpenter slid in safely before the tag. Designated hitter Matt Holliday got Carpenter home with a chopper over the mound that Escobar fielded but had no play except at first base.

"Sometimes it takes an emotional victory like this to kind of jumpstart a team," Carpenter said. "Maybe this one will be the one for us."

Vargas scattered nine hits over eight innings, allowing two runs in a no-decision. He threw 117 pitches, the most he has thrown since July 1, 2010.

Wainwright, who was roughed up for seven runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings by the San Francisco Giants in his previous start, held the Royals hitless in the first five innings.

"Wainwright was phenomenal," Yost said. "What makes him so good is he spots his fastball well, but he's got out pitches with his cutter and curveball. He doesn't make mistakes with it. And Vargy did a great job of keeping us in the game, giving us the opportunity to come back and tie it in the ninth like we did. That was Jason Vargas."

Cardinals second baseman Mark Ellis singled with one out in the bottom of the second, stole second base and scored on third baseman Matt Carpenter's two-out single to center for a 1-0 lead.
 


NOTES: Cardinals 2B Kolten Wong, who hit a grand slam Tuesday but also bruised his left shoulder diving for a ball, was not in the lineup Wednesday. Mark Ellis started in Wong's place. Wong entered as an 11th-inning pinch hitter and stayed in on defense. ... St. Louis RHP Michael Wacha, who starts Thursday, made his big league debut May 30, 2013, against the Royals, holding them to one run and two hits in seven innings. ... Royals rookie RHP Yordano Ventura, who skipped a start after leaving a May 26 outing with a tender elbow, will return to the rotation Thursday. ... Royals LHP Bruce Chen made his first rehab start Tuesday for Double-A Northwest Arkansas, allowing two solo home runs and eight hits in three innings. He struck out three and walked none.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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