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Pujols error gives Royals a victory in St. Louis

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar is known for his fielding. Lately, he has been doing plenty of damage with his bat.

Against the St. Louis Cardinals Friday night, Escobar had two hits with a run scored in Kansas City's 5-4 win. He also was part of the key play of the game: His hard groundball with two outs in the eighth inning eluded Albert Pujols and allowed Mike Moustakas to score the go-ahead run.

Pujols, a Gold Glover, was given an error on the play. Kansas City manager Ned Yost thought Escobar, who is 14 for 24 (.583) over his last seven games with eight runs scored, could have been credited with a hit.

"I don't know how that's ruled an error," Yost said. "That's a pretty tough hop, a pretty tough ball."

It's the kind of play that has been hurting Cardinals, who have lost seven straight.

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"The ball was hit pretty good and it just came up on me," Pujols said. "That's the way it goes. It's a play you probably make 99 out of 100 times. If we would have been on a winning streak, I don't think a crazy thing like that would happen."

Much to Yost and the Royals' chagrin, Pujols had a chance to atone for the miscue in the ninth when Jon Jay singled off of Kansas City closer Joakim Soria with two outs to bring Pujols up to the plate. But after running the count to 3-0, Soria got Pujols to ground into a 5-4 fielder's choice to end the game.

"I tried to throw my best pitches to him," said Soria, who earned his 11th save in 16 chances. "I got behind because I was trying to throw too perfect. Then I figured out I had to throw a strike at some point, because if it's not him it's [Matt] Holliday and if it's not Holliday it's [Lance] Berkman."

Soria had lost his closer's role earlier this year, but seems to have earned his way back into Yost's good graces.

"I got so much confidence in [him]; I thought he would find a way to get us through it," Yost said.

Pujols' error made a hard-luck loser out of Chris Carpenter, who appeared to have pitched around a walk to Moustakas leading off the eighth inning when he induced Escobar to hit a grounder to Pujols. Carpenter (1-7) allowed 10 hits and four runs over eight innings. He struck out seven and walked one.

"I'm not going to sit here and fret on what's going on," Carpenter said. "I went out and did the best I could tonight. I can go home and look at myself in the mirror and say that I did the best I could."

Blake Wood (3-0) pitched a scoreless seventh inning for Kansas City.

Berkman drove in three runs for the Cardinals with a bases-loaded double in the third.

Berkman's double gave St. Louis a 4-3 lead. Kansas City tied it in the fourth when Royals starter Felipe Paulino laid down a sacrifice with one out and runners on first and third. Chris Getz scored when Cardinals catcher Tony Cruz tried to retire Escobar at second and Paulino was credited with an RBI.

The Royals had built a 3-0 advantage on a first-inning RBI single by Jeff Francoeur and a two-run single by Alex Gordon with two outs in the second.

.Notes

  • Kansas City rookie Eric Hosmer, who went 1 for 5, is batting .197 on the road (15 for 76) as opposed to .365 at home (31 for 85).
  • Carpenter threw 124 pitches, his most since hurling 125 on October 6, 2001, while with the Blue Jays.
  • Paulino, the first Royals' pitcher to step to the plate this year, had two sacrifices in his two at-bats. Royals pitchers went 2 for 16 last year in National League parks.
  • St. Louis shortstop Tyler Greene's sixth inning single ended an 0-for-13 skid.
  • Paulino has not won since beating the Cubs 3-1 on June 4, 2010, a span of 31 outings (eight starts).
  • Berkman, who had just 58 RBI last year with the Astros and Yankees, has 51 RBI in his first 61 games as a Cardinal.
 
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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A dejected Albert Pujols walks off the field after grounding out to end the game.  (AP)
A dejected Albert Pujols walks off the field after grounding out to end the game. (AP)

Players of the Game
Kansas City

C. Getz
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
St. Louis

L. Berkman
AB 3
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 3
 
Kansas City Royals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Alex Gordon, LF5012013 .281
Melky Cabrera, CF5120013 .280
Eric Hosmer, 1B5010012 .286
Jeff Francoeur, RF4011022 .267
Mike Moustakas, 3B3100101 .208
Matt Treanor, C3000020 .213
Chris Getz, 2B4220001 .245
Alcides Escobar, SS4120010 .246
Felipe Paulino, P0001000 .000
   a- Mitch Maier, PH1010000 .333
    Blake Wood, P0000000 .000
   b- Billy Butler, PH1000001 .300
    Aaron Crow, P0000000 .000
    Joakim Soria, P0000000 .000
Totals35510418  
a-singled for Paulino in the 7th
b-flied out for Wood in the 8th
Batting
SH - Matt Treanor (4), Felipe Paulino 2 (2)
RBI - Alex Gordon 2 (39), Jeff Francoeur (43), Felipe Paulino (1)
2-OUT RBI - Alex Gordon 2 (15)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Paulino-Escobar
Kansas City Royals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Felipe Paulino 6544450 4.10
Blake Wood (W,3-0) 1000010 2.43
Aaron Crow (H,7) 1000110 1.38
Joakim Soria (S,11) 1100010 4.65
HBP - Holliday (by Felipe Paulino), Cruz (by Felipe Paulino)
Pitches-Strikes - Felipe Paulino 98-56, Blake Wood 17-11, Aaron Crow 18-8, Joakim Soria 18-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Felipe Paulino 5-7, Blake Wood 2-0, Aaron Crow 1-1, Joakim Soria 2-0
Batters Faced - Felipe Paulino 28, Blake Wood 3, Aaron Crow 4, Joakim Soria 4
St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Skip Schumaker, 2B4100101 .225
Jon Jay, CF-RF5120020 .313
Albert Pujols, 1B-3B4100101 .271
Matt Holliday, LF3111010 .348
Lance Berkman, RF-1B3013101 .310
Tony Cruz, C2000102 .250
Daniel Descalso, 3B-SS3010102 .241
Tyler Greene, SS3010023 .198
   a- Colby Rasmus, PH-CF1000011 .257
Chris Carpenter, P3000010 .103
    Trever Miller, P0000000 .000
   b- Mark Hamilton, PH1000010 .115
Totals3246458  
a-struck out for T. Greene in the 8th
b-struck out for Miller in the 9th
Batting
2B - Lance Berkman (10, Paulino)
RBI - Matt Holliday (33), Lance Berkman 3 (51)
2-OUT RBI - Matt Holliday (13), Lance Berkman 3 (21)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Schumaker-T. Greene-Pujols
E - Albert Pujols (9, Misplayed grounder)
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Chris Carpenter (L,1-7) 81054170 4.47
Trever Miller 1000010 2.70
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Carpenter 124-83, Trever Miller 11-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Carpenter 11-7, Trever Miller 2-0
Batters Faced - Chris Carpenter 36, Trever Miller 3
Game Information
Attendance - 40674
Game Time - 2:46
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Chris Conroy, First Base - Alfonso Marquez, Second Base - Ed Hickox, Third Base - Ed Rapuano