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St. Louis at Kansas City

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Royals exploit Eckstein's errors, crush Cardinals

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- After embarrassing himself the night before, Emil Brown felt no sympathy for a humiliated David Eckstein.

Eckstein, the normally sure-handed St. Louis shortstop, committed two errors in the first inning Sunday that led to six unearned runs, and Kansas City parlayed the gift runs into a 9-2 victory on interim manager Bob Schaefer's 61st birthday.

"I didn't feel bad for that guy at all after what happened to me last night," said Brown, who had three RBI and was still feeling chagrined for letting Larry Walker's sharp grounder get past him in the right-field corner on Saturday night.

After missing Walker's ball, Brown compounded his misfortune by falling down while chasing it, allowing the heavy-footed Walker to come all the way around and score standing up.

"Let somebody else come in here and get some of those 'what happened?' questions," Brown said.

Still, Brown was only charged with one error while Eckstein, who led major league shortstops with a .988 fielding percentage last year for Anaheim, suffered through the worst day of his career -- he added a third error in the second inning, which left him just two short of the major league record.

"It just kills you inside," Eckstein said. "It just crushes you. I let the team down and especially (starter Jeff Suppan).

"This is the first time I've ever had such a day."

Ryan Jensen (1-0), called up from Triple-A Omaha this week, went five innings for his first major league victory since 2002 as the Royals snapped a seven-game losing streak against the Cardinals and a 10-game slide in interleague play.

When Eckstein's miserable day began, the Royals had a runner on first and nobody out. David DeJesus hit a potential double-play grounder right at him, but Eckstein bobbled it and both runners were safe.

It looked like he might get off the hook when Suppan got the next two batters out. But then Brown and Mark Teahen hit consecutive doubles, making it 3-0.

Matt Diaz then hit another routine grounder to Eckstein, but his throw pulled first baseman Albert Pujols off the bag as Teahen scored the fourth run. John Buck then hit a two-run homer over the fence in left, making it 6-0 in the first inning with all six runs unearned.

Eckstein, who had only six errors in 142 games last year, also had a two-run throwing error on Friday night and now has eight. No Cardinals shortstop had had three errors in one game since Edgar Renteria at Chicago on Sept. 9, 2000.

"You know in your heart you're going to make the next play," Eckstein said. "And the next play kept coming and I couldn't make it."

Jensen, who hadn't pitched in the majors since May 18, 2003, gave up two runs on three hits, with three walks and three strikeouts.

"I've always thought I could be here but I guess other people didn't," he said.

It was just the second loss in 17 interleague games for the Cardinals and kept Tony La Russa from tying Whitey Herzog for second place among St. Louis managers with 822 victories.

La Russa declined to discuss what one reporter referred to as Eckstein's "tough day."

"First of all, the Cardinals had a tough day. Our team had a tough day," he said. "Our team had a tough day, not just one player. Errors are a part of the game."

Suppan (3-5), the Royals' opening day starter three straight years beginning in 2000, was charged with nine runs -- three earned -- in five innings. He gave up nine hits and struck out five.

The Cardinals got an unearned run in the third on an error by Royals left fielder Diaz, who failed to pick up the ball cleanly on Pujols' RBI single, allowing a second runner to score.

Brown had a run-scoring single in the fifth, Ruben Gotay hit a solo homer and Matt Stairs had an RBI double for the Royals, whose record of 13-31 remains the worst in the majors.

"The type of year we've had, when we get breaks like that I don't think we can ever feel bad for anybody," said Buck. "We've been down. We've had games like that and nobody stopped and felt sorry for us. But I say that in respect. (Eckstein) is a good player. He'll bounce back."

Notes

  • 1B Ken Harvey was placed on the 15-day DL Sunday with recurring back problems. Taking his roster spot was Jensen.
  • The Cardinals ended a nine-game road trip 5-4.
  • The Cardinals' winningest manager was Red Schoendienst with 1,041 victories.
  • Gotay's steal of second in the fourth inning was the first of his career.
  • Jensen's last major league win came when he beat Houston for San Francisco on Sept. 29, 2002.
  • The Royals had not beaten a National League team since besting Philadelphia last June 18.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Kansas City

A. Berroa
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
Kansas City

E. Brown
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 3
 
St. Louis Cardinals
David Eckstein, SS4110003 .309
Larry Walker, DH3100111 .266
Albert Pujols, 1B3011000 .335
Jim Edmonds, CF2000101 .278
   a- Roger Cedeno, PH-LF1000000 .114
John Mabry, RF4000013 .305
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B3000010 .329
    Scott Seabol, 2B1000000 .111
Abraham Nunez, 3B4000010 .270
So Taguchi, LF-CF3010100 .250
Einar Diaz, C3010001 .242
Totals31241349 
a-fouled out for Edmonds in the 8th
Batting
2B - So Taguchi (4, Nunez)
RBI - Albert Pujols (37)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
Outfield Assists - John Mabry 1
DP - Suppan-Eckstein-Pujols
E - David Eckstein 3 (8, misplayed grouder), Mark Grudzielanek (3, misplayed grounder)
St. Louis Cardinals
Jeff Suppan (L,3-5) 5993052 4.38
Gabe White 3300000 0.00
HBP - Berroa (by Jeff Suppan)
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Suppan 102-70, Gabe White 39-29
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Suppan 10-3, Gabe White 2-6
Batters Faced - Jeff Suppan 28, Gabe White 11
Kansas City Royals
Angel Berroa, SS4230011 .265
David DeJesus, CF5100014 .248
Mike Sweeney, DH4120002 .327
   a- Joe McEwing, PH-DH1000001 .294
Matt Stairs, 1B4021001 .277
Emil Brown, RF4123001 .234
Mark Teahen, 3B4111012 .247
Matt Diaz, LF4100012 .211
John Buck, C4112012 .204
Ruben Gotay, 2B4111000 .233
Totals3891280516 
a-hit into fielder's choice for Sweeney in the 8th
Batting
2B - Matt Stairs (7, G. White), Emil Brown (6, Suppan), Mark Teahen (5, Suppan)
HR - John Buck (3, Suppan), Ruben Gotay (3, Suppan)
RBI - Matt Stairs (13), Emil Brown 3 (18), Mark Teahen (9), John Buck 2 (13), Ruben Gotay (13)
2-OUT RBI - Emil Brown 2 (4), Mark Teahen (6), John Buck 2 (6)
SB - Ruben Gotay (1, 2nd base off Suppan/Diaz)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Matt Diaz (1, misplayed ball)
Kansas City Royals
Ryan Jensen (W,1-0) 5322330 3.60
Leo Nunez 3100000 1.08
Mike MacDougal 1000010 4.29
HBP - Pujols (by Ryan Jensen)
Pitches-Strikes - Ryan Jensen 90-53, Leo Nunez 26-21, Mike MacDougal 14-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ryan Jensen 3-9, Leo Nunez 2-7, Mike MacDougal 1-1
Batters Faced - Ryan Jensen 22, Leo Nunez 10, Mike MacDougal 3
Game Information
Attendance - 29269
Game Time - 2:42
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Chris Guccione, First Base - Bruce Dreckman, Second Base - Gerry Davis, Third Base - Doug Eddings