Carpenter, Martinez lead Cardinals past Royals
CARDINALS 11, ROYALS 3
Matt Carpenter hit a three-run homer in St. Louis’ six-run fourth inning, and the Cardinals beat the Kansas City Royals 11-3 on Monday night for their third consecutive victory.
Paul DeJong and Kolten Wong also connected for the Cardinals, who returned to .500 at 56-56. Carlos Martinez (8-9) pitched eight innings of two-run ball for just his second win in his last nine starts.
St. Louis also got some help from Kansas City during its outburst in the fourth. Ian Kennedy (4-8) walked No. 9 hitter Greg Garcia on five pitches with the bases loaded, and shortstop Alcides Escobar and catcher Drew Butera each committed an error.
Butera made an errant throw while trying to pick off Dexter Fowler at third, allowing the speedy center fielder to score.
Five pitches later Carpenter hit a drive to right with Wong and Garcia aboard. In 13 games at Kauffman Stadium, Carpenter is hitting .451 with four home runs and 14 RBIs.
Wong added a two-run shot in the eighth, and DeJong belted his own two-run homer in the ninth.
Kennedy was charged with seven runs, six earned, and six hits in six innings. He is winless in 14 consecutive starts at Kauffman Stadium since beating the Minnesota Twins on Aug. 20, 2016.
Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer and Brandon Moss homered for Kansas City, which has dropped six of eight. Moustakas has 32 home runs, four shy of the Royals’ single-season record of 36 set by Steve Balboni in 1985.
Cardinals: Fowler, who missed a dozen games with a strained left forearm, was activated from the 10-day disabled list. He started the game hitting sixth for the first time in his career. He had batted no lower than third this season.
Royals: Catcher Salvador Perez (right intercostal strain) said there is no timetable on when he could play again. “We’ll wait 10 days and see where we are,” Perez said. He said before going on the disabled list he felt a “little pinch” in his side. He received a cortisone injection Sunday.
TWINS 5, BREWERS 4 Eddie Rosario doubled home the tying run in the seventh inning and scored the winning run for Minnesota on a balk. After Eduardo Escobar drew a leadoff walk, Rosario hit a smash to right field that fooled Domingo Santana, who took two steps in before watching the ball sail over his head. Escobar scored to tie the game at 4.
Rosario was still at third with two out when the Brewers employed a dramatic shift on left-handed hitting Jason Castro. With no fielder near third base to hold him on, Rosario danced halfway down the baseline, causing Oliver Drake (3-4) to step off the rubber.
When Drake stepped back on the rubber, Rosario made another break for home. This time Drake flinched and plate umpire Bill Welke called a balk, sending Rosario home.
Buddy Boshers (1-0) retired one batter in the seventh to earn the victory. Matt Belisle worked the ninth for his second save.
PIRATES 3, TIGERS 0 Trevor Williams pitched seven crisp innings, leading Pittsburgh to the win.
Williams (5-4) struck out five and walked two, giving up only a leadoff single to James McCann in the third. Williams threw a career-high 107 pitches and never allowed a runner to third base. Juan Nicasio got three outs for his second save, completing Pittsburgh’s one-hitter. The Pirates have won three straight and four of five. Francisco Cervelli put the Pirates in front with an RBI double off Jordan Zimmermann (7-9) in the second. John Jaso provided some late insurance with a pinch-hit two-run homer in the seventh. Zimmermann struck out three and walked two in seven innings.
NATIONALS 3, MARLINS 2 The Washington Nationals savored their latest victory a bit more than most, mainly because it was a complete performance quite literally from beginning to end.
Max Scherzer did his part as the starting pitcher, and newcomers Brandon Kintzler and Sean Doolittle finished up. Bryce Harper and pinch-hitter extraordinaire Adam Lind also played major roles in a 3-2 victory over the Miami Marlins on Monday night.
Scherzer allowed only five hits, two of which really mattered: Giancarlo Stanton’s major league-leading 37th home run and an RBI single by pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne, who stepped to the plate with a .036 lifetime batting average. Harper homered in the fourth inning and Lind singled in the tiebreaking run in the eighth to help the Nationals expand their lead in the NL East over second-place Miami to 14 games.
REDS 11, PADRES 3 Joey Votto homered for the third straight game and pulled into a tie with Ted Kluszewski on the Reds’ career list. The Reds homered four times in all, with Patrick Kivlehan hitting his first career grand slam. Adam Duvall and Zack Cozart also connected. Votto’s 251st career homer off Jhoulys Chacin (11-8) moved him into a tie for fifth place with Big Klu, the first baseman who cut the sleeves off his uniform to free his big upper arms. Votto’s 136th homer at Great American bumped him ahead of Jay Bruce for the ballpark record.