The Cardinals wrapped up their 11th series win in their last 13 series by beating Kansas City 9-8 in 10 innings Sunday. But backup catcher Gerald Laird, who has played in eight wins in the 10 games he has started, suffered a broken right index finger when by a pitch in the 10th inning. He is likely to be lost for six weeks to two months.
Manager Tony La Russa said, "A win like this, and then to lose (Laird), who's been a key part of this club, there's no celebrating."
Tony Cruz, who was in the Cardinals' camp in spring training, was expected to be recalled from Class AAA Memphis in time to join the Cardinals on Monday night in San Diego. Cruz, who has never played in the majors, is hitting .232 with four homers and 16 RBI for Memphis this season.
The Cardinals squandered a six-run lead, as the Royals tied the game with two runs in the seventh inning off left-hander Brian Tallet, making his first appearance in the majors since breaking his right hand April 12, and right-handed rookie Eduardo Sanchez, who had more control issues. In the inning before, when starter Jaime Garcia was given a quick hook after allowing a homer to Jeff Francouer, Miguel Batista gave up a two-run homer. Batista hadn't pitched for nine days.
St. Louis scored its two runs in the 10th on bases-loaded walks to Colby Rasmus, who became the first Cardinals player to be walked five times in a game by five different pitchers, and Yadier Molina, who finished with four hits.
Rasmus, who had struck out five times in his last eight at-bats before his walk spree, said, "I wasn't looking to take a pitch at all. I was going up there every at-bat looking to swing at the first pitch."
The Cardinals have tied their largest National League Central lead of the year at 2 1/2 games, as the Reds have hit a five-game skid.
Sunday's win probably should have taken a lot less time than 4 hours, 9 minutes, but Molina said, "A win is a win. No matter how many men are left on base (15), no matter how we won."
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