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St. Louis at Kansas City

Scoreboard
St. Louis (45-36)0000001102101
Kansas City (37-43) «04001002x7110

Royals win sixth straight, 11th of last 12 games

CBSSports.com wire reports
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- So how can the same bunch of guys who lose 12 in a row in May turn around and win 11 of 12 in June?

Simple.

"We weren't hitting and we weren't pitching at the same time," said right-hander Gil Meche, who went seven strong innings Friday night in a 7-2 victory over St. Louis. "Both parts of our game went downhill. But guys stayed positive and luckily, we got out of it. Now good things are happening."

Are they ever.

Alex Gordon hit his fifth home run in 16 games and drove in four runs as the Royals won their sixth in a row, their longest winning streak since opening the 2003 season 9-0. David DeJesus had a two-run double and raised his major league-leading average to .472 with runners in scoring position. As the Cardinals tried futilely to catch up, several Royals made outstanding defensive plays.

"Guys are putting together good at-bats," said John Buck, who ended up standing on a folding chair while catching a foul ball over the railing in the first inning. "We're getting two-out hits with runners in scoring position, things we weren't doing when we weren't winning.

KC's only loss since starting its hot streak on June 14 was a 9-4 setback to San Francisco on June 20 when rookie starter Luke Hochevar failed to hold a 4-0 lead. At the end of their 12-game skid on May 30, they were 13 games under .500. Now they have the best interleague record in baseball at 13-3 and are within six games of .500 at 37-43.

"We went through a stretch where it was like, 'OK, what's going to happen next?' It kept going downhill," said Gordon. "Now it's going the other way. Everything's working well and we're feeling really positive."

Gordon's solo shot off Joel Pineiro (2-4) put the Royals on top 5-0 in the fifth and DeJesus added a two-run double off reliever Ron Villone.

The near-capacity crowd had Kauffman Stadium rocking as always when the state rivals from St. Louis are in town, with a big chunk of the 36,000 people wearing Cardinal red. Every time either team did something, half the stadium roared. Royals fans were even more energized than usual because of their unexpected hot streak, which includes a rare three-game sweep of the Cardinals last week in Busch Stadium.

Meche, winning for the third straight start, went seven innings and gave up one run on six hits. Pineiro (2-4) went 7 2/3 innings and was charged with all seven runs and 10 hits. The right-hander has six no-decisions and two losses in eight starts since beating Cincinnati on April 29.

"He made a couple of mistakes, two to the third baseman. That's four runs," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "You compliment him for staying in after it and almost completing the game, but those early mistakes gave them a lot of momentum."

Joey Gathright got an RBI single in the second when shortstop Aaron Miles charged his high bouncer. The ball slipped out of Miles' hands and Buck scored from third. The bases were loaded on three singles, and Gordon cleared them by slamming Pineiro's pitch into the right-field corner with two out.

"I saw a couple of changeups to start," Gordon said. "When I got two strikes, I was kind of sitting on that, and I was able to hook it down the line. All things are clicking right now."

Troy Glaus was 3-for-4 for the Cardinals with two RBI. He homered leading off the seventh against Meche and hit an RBI single in the eighth off Ron Mahay.

The Royals loaded the bases in the first on second baseman Adam Kennedy's error, a walk and a hit batter. But Pineiro escaped by getting Mark Grudzielanek to bounce into a double play.

The Cardinals have scored three runs or fewer in nine of their last 10 losses.

"Offensively, we have to get more going," said La Russa.

Notes

  • The Cardinals are 5-8 against the AL this year.
  • It was Pineiro's longest outing of the season.
  • DeJesus stretched his hitting streak to 12 games.
 
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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Gil Meche gives up just one run over seven solid innings to earn his third straight win. (AP)
Gil Meche gives up just one run over seven solid innings to earn his third straight win. (AP)

Players of the Game
Kansas City

A. Gordon
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 4
St. Louis

T. Glaus
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 2
 
St. Louis Cardinals
Skip Schumaker, LF5010001 .303
Ryan Ludwick, RF4110001 .285
Albert Pujols, DH-1B2000211 .355
Rick Ankiel, CF4010003 .255
Troy Glaus, 3B4132002 .264
Chris Duncan, 1B3010001 .230
   a- Nick Stavinoha, PH1000012 .250
Yadier Molina, C4010011 .296
Adam Kennedy, 2B4010002 .267
Aaron Miles, SS4010002 .317
Totals35210223  
a-struck out for Duncan in the 8th
Batting
2B - Rick Ankiel (15, Meche), Chris Duncan (7, Meche), Adam Kennedy (7, Meche)
HR - Troy Glaus (11, Meche)
RBI - Troy Glaus 2 (49)
2-OUT RBI - Troy Glaus (23)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Miles-Kennedy-Duncan
E - Adam Kennedy (6, Misplayed grounder)
St. Louis Cardinals
Joel Pineiro (L,2-4) 7.21077221 4.33
Ron Villone 0.1100000 5.76
HBP - Guillen (by Joel Pineiro)
Pitches-Strikes - Joel Pineiro 110-72, Ron Villone 9-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joel Pineiro 15-6
Batters Faced - Joel Pineiro 36, Ron Villone 2
Kansas City Royals
David DeJesus, LF5132000 .317
Mike Aviles, SS5000016 .313
Alex Gordon, 3B3124100 .266
Jose Guillen, DH3000001 .285
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B4010001 .302
Mark Teahen, RF4110011 .256
John Buck, C4110002 .249
Ross Gload, 1B3210100 .263
Joey Gathright, CF4121000 .245
Totals35711722  
Batting
2B - David DeJesus (11, Villone), Alex Gordon (19, Pineiro), Mark Grudzielanek (16, Pineiro), Mark Teahen (12, Pineiro), John Buck (14, Pineiro)
HR - Alex Gordon (10, Pineiro)
RBI - David DeJesus 2 (41), Alex Gordon 4 (39), Joey Gathright (14)
2-OUT RBI - David DeJesus 2 (13), Alex Gordon 3 (11)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Grudzielanek-Aviles-Gload, Grudzielanek-Aviles-Gload
Kansas City Royals
Gil Meche (W,6-8) 7611121 4.66
Ron Mahay 0.2211100 2.23
Ramon Ramirez (H,10) 0.1000010 2.82
Joel Peralta 1200000 5.40
Pitches-Strikes - Gil Meche 103-61, Ron Mahay 21-11, Ramon Ramirez 6-4, Joel Peralta 12-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Gil Meche 6-12, Ron Mahay 1-1, Joel Peralta 1-1
Batters Faced - Gil Meche 27, Ron Mahay 5, Ramon Ramirez 1, Joel Peralta 4
Game Information
Attendance - 36360
Game Time - 2:38
Temperature - 87
Umpires - Home - Hunter Wendelstedt, First Base - Marvin Hudson, Second Base - Angel Campos, Third Base - Brian Knight