Roy­als pounded

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - SPORTS -

Yadier Molina, Jedd Gy­orko and Ran­dal Grichuk went deep, the Car­di­nals scored so much in the fifth in­ning that they broke the score­board, and St. Louis rolled to a 10-3 vic­tory over the Kansas City Roy­als on Tues­day night.

IN­TER­LEAGUE CAR­DI­NALS 10, ROY­ALS 3

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The St. Louis Car­di­nals scored so many times off Ja­son Var­gas and the Kansas City bullpen in the fifth in­ning Tues­day night that they broke the Roy­als’ crown-shaped score­board.

Or maybe it was just a co­in­ci­dence that the mas­sive out­field video screen sud­denly went dark.

Re­gard­less, the mal­func­tion saved Roy­als fans from hav­ing to watch the runs pile up. Yadier Molina, Jedd Gy­orko and Ran­dal Grichuk each went deep, and the Car­di­nals pounded out 14 hits in a 10-3 vic­tory — the fourth straight for the sud­denly se­ri­ous NL Cen­tral con­tenders.

“You never know what the key is. If you did, you’d never put it away,” said Car­di­nals man­ager Mike Ma­theny, whose team be­gan the night 3 1/2 games be­hind the di­vi­sion-lead­ing Chicago Cubs.

Michael Wacha (9-4) al­lowed a three-run double to Ch­es­lor Cuth­bert but oth­er­wise kept the Roy­als in check, sur­ren­der­ing six hits over six in­nings to win for the sixth time in seven de­ci­sions.

His life was made eas­ier by the run sup­port: St. Louis has scored 38 times in the last four games .

“The ball started fall­ing. I don’t see it any dif­fer­ent,” said Molina, who fin­ished with three RBIs. “We hit the ball hard and the ball wasn’t find­ing holes. Now it’s find­ing holes.”

Find­ing the way over the wall, too. Grichuk and Gy­orko con­nected off Var­gas (13-6) to high­light the six-run fifth , when the score­board at Kauff­man Sta­dium sud­denly went dark. It re­mained that way un­til the sev­enth, when about half of it blinked back on­line and the Car­di­nals were tack­ing on runs.

“It was one I felt like I let get away from the team right there in that fifth in­ning,” Var­gas said. “Some weird things hap­pened, but with Ch­es­lor com­ing up big in the half in­ning be­fore, there’s just got to be a stop put to that in­ning, re­gard­less of what hap­pens.”

Cuth­bert’s knock down the left­field line staked Var­gas to a 3-1 lead, but the left-han­der re­sponded

with the kind of out­ing that’s be­come com­mon since his All-Star ap­pear­ance last month.

Grichuk home­red to be­gin the fifth for St. Louis, and Var­gas hit Matt Car­pen­ter be­fore al­low­ing a sin­gle to Tommy Pham. Var­gas also threw two wild pitches to put run­ners on sec­ond and third, then he walked Jose Martinez be­fore giv­ing up Molina’s go-ahead sin­gle.

Dex­ter Fowler dou­bled to right to chase Var­gas from the game, but re­liever Mike Mi­nor was un­able to stop the cas­cade of runs. Gy­orko pounded his 2-2 pitch an es­ti­mated 420 feet over the left-field bullpen to give the Car­di­nals a 7-3 lead and close the book on Var­gas’s lat­est mis­er­able out­ing.

PI­RATES 6, TIGERS 3 An­drew McCutchen hit his 23rd home run of the sea­son and the surg­ing Pittsburgh Pi­rates downed the reel­ing Detroit Tigers. Chad Kuhl (5-7) took a shutout into the sixth and al­lowed three runs and five hits to win his sec­ond straight start.

IN­DI­ANS 4, ROCK­IES 1 Yan Gomes hit a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth in­ning off closer Greg Hol­land as the Cleve­land In­di­ans ral­lied for four runs in their last at-bat for Corey Klu­ber and beat the Colorado Rock­ies.

METS 5, RANGERS 4 Rookie Chris Flexen got his first big league win and hit, and the New York Mets took an early four-run lead against emer­gency starter A. J. Grif­fin in a win over the Texas Rangers that stopped a four-game los­ing streak.

TWINS 11, BREW­ERS 4 Brian Dozier hit his first ca­reer grand slam and Max Ke­pler and Ed­die Rosario each home­red twice, pow­er­ing the Min­nesota Twins past the Mil­wau­kee Brew­ers for a two-game sweep.

AMER­I­CAN LEAGUE

BLUE JAYS 4, YAN­KEES 2 Josh Don­ald­son hit two two-run homers, J.A. Happ won his sixth straight de­ci­sion against the Yan­kees, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat New York.

RED SOX 2, RAYS 0 Chris Sale al­lowed two hits in eight in­nings and struck out 13, and the Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays for their sev­enth straight vic­tory. Sale (14-4) reached double dig­its in strike­outs for the 15th time this sea­son, the first time that’s been done since Randy John­son in 2002.

WHITE SOX 8, ASTROS 5 Rookie Ke­van Smith had a home run and drove in four runs for the Chicago White Sox in a win over Dal­las Keuchel and the Hous­ton Astros.

NA­TIONAL LEAGUE

PADRES 7, REDS 3 Jose Pirela had four hits, and Yangervis So­larte had a homer among his three hits, pow­er­ing the San Diego Padres to a vic­tory over the Cincin­nati Reds.

MAR­LINS 7 NA­TION­ALS 3 Gian­carlo Stan­ton hit his ca­reer-high and ma­jor league-lead­ing 38th home run of the sea­son and drove in three runs as the Mi­ami Mar­lins beat the Washington Na­tion­als.

PHILLIES 5, BRAVES 2 Odubel Her­rera hit a two-run homer, Zach Eflin pitched seven strong in­nings fol­low­ing his re­call from the mi­nors, and the Philadel­phia Phillies beat At­lanta to con­tinue their sea­son-long mas­tery of the Braves.

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