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.
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.
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.