Photo is credited to Getty Images.
After splitting the first two games of the I-70 Series at Kauffman Stadium, the Royals and Cardinals traveled to the eastern side of Missouri for two games at the Cardinals’ home, Busch Stadium. The Royals took both games in St. Louis to take three of four games from the Cardinals this week.
Prior to Wednesday’s game, the Royals placed outfielder Lorenzo Cain on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring. Cain sustained the injury in Tuesday’s game. Brett Eibner was recalled from Triple-A.
Game One (F/12): Royals 3, Cardinals 2 — WP: Chien-Ming Wang (5-0) LP: Seth Maness (0-2)
An RBI double in the twelfth inning by Alcides Escobar while facing Seth Maness proved to be the game-winning knock on Wednesday for the Royals, who won the extra-inning affair by a 3-2 score.
The game was started by Carlos Martinez for the Cardinals and Edinson Volquez for the Royals. Martinez pitched six scoreless innings; Volquez didn’t allow a run through 6.2 frames.
The Royals led the game, 1-0, until the bottom of the ninth inning. With two outs and closer Wade Davis on the mound for the save, Jhonny Peralta lined an RBI single to drive in the tying run and force the game to extra innings.
A couple of errors in the top of the tenth, including a throwing error by hurler Seung Hwan Oh and a fielding error by second baseman Matt Carpenter, allowed the Royals to plate their second run of the game to take a 2-1 lead that was quickly erased by a Stephen Piscotty homer to lead off the bottom of the tenth.
In the top of the twelfth, Whit Merrifield hit a one-out double to greet Maness. Escobar came up next and lined a ball down the right-field line for a two-bagger, plating Merrifield to give the Royals a 3-2 edge.
Chien-Ming Wang pitched two perfect innings for the Royals, including the final frame of the ballgame.
-In Wednesday’s 3-2 loss, Cardinals outfielder Stephen Piscotty fouled a ball off of his ankle and was hit by a fly ball in the same spot later on in the contest. A post-game X-ray came back negative, but there is some swelling.
-Shortstop Aledmys Diaz was considered unavailable for Wednesday’s game, as his right eye was swollen shut from fouling a ball off that area of the face in the Cardinals’ loss on Monday in Kansas City.
Game Two: Royals 4, Cardinals 2 — WP: Dillon Gee (3-2) LP: Mike Leake (5-6) SV: Wade Davis (19)
A pair of defensive miscues and the inability to capitalize on three walks in the first inning of Thursday’s game ended up biting the Cardinals, who suffered their seventh straight loss at home with a 4-2 defeat by the Royals in the finale of the inner-state series.
Facing Mike Leake, Royals had a lead two batters into the game, thanks to a fielding error by third baseman Jhonny Peralta that allowed Whit Merrifield to reach base and advance to second. Not long after, with Kendrys Morales batting, Brayan Pena, in his first start with the Cardinals, made an errant throw that allowed Merrifield to score.
In the bottom of the first, Royals hurler Chris Young walked Matt Carpenter and Kolten Wong with nobody out to open up the game. From there, Matt Holliday whiffed, and Wong was thrown out at second base by Salvador Perez. Brandon Moss drew a walk after the two outs were recorded, but the walk was to no avail, as Matt Adams went down on strikes.
Young walked six batters in his four-inning outing, but the Cardinals failed to take advantage of him. The only run Young allowed in his start was a 477-foot home run to Moss, who entered the game 5-for-19 against Young with four long balls.
Leake didn’t pitch all that bad for the Cardinals, who failed to provide him with much run support. Leake spun seven frames, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits.
Dillon Gee followed Young with two scoreless innings and picked up the win, as the Royals knocked off the Cardinals.
-Aggravated by the Royals’ successful attempt to challenge (and overturn) an inning-ending play that had been made over 30 seconds previously, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was ejected by home-plate umpire Mike Everett, the first ejection of the year for the team, player or member of the coaching staff.
-Though neither appeared in the game, Stephen Piscotty and Aledmys Diaz were both considered available to pinch-hit for the Cardinals on Thusday.
-Brandon Moss’s 477-foot bomb is the longest home run hit in Busch Stadium III history.
-Royals designated hitter and right fielder Kendrys Morales swung a molten bat in this I-70 Series, going 12-for-16 with four RBIs.
Royals: The Royals will commute to Philadelphia to play a three-game series with the Phillies.
Cardinals: The Cardinals will play host to the Brewers for three games over the weekend.