Cards hit 3 homers, pound Royals 10-3 for 4th straight win

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) 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 left-field 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.

He was 12-3 with a 2.22 ERA at the end of June. He's 1-4 with a 7.62 ERA in six starts since.

''He started out good,'' Royals manager Ned Yost said. ''The fifth inning was just a strange inning.''

Vargas's downturn has coincided with a slump by the Royals, who made a series of trades in late July with an eye on contending for the AL Central. Instead, they've dropped seven of the last nine to fall off the division-leading Cleveland Indians' pace.

''Looking at the standings aren't as big of a deal,'' Vargas said. ''The guys in here have been through way bigger lows and way higher highs than this. I don't think anybody is too concerned.''

GORDON BENCHED

Three-time All-Star Alex Gordon was benched and LF Melky Cabrera started in his place as the Royals tried to find more offense. Gordon has struggled mightily in the second year of a $72 million, four-year contract, hitting just .197 with five homers and 34 RBIs in 100 games.

ROSTER MOVES

The Royals reinstated Cuthbert (sprained left wrist) from the DL and optioned INF Ramon Torres to Triple-A Omaha. Cuthbert started at third base while All-Star Mike Moustakas was the DH, allowing him to rest a sore knee without taking his bat out of the lineup.

PHAM-ULOUS

Matheny spent pregame praising Pham, who was diagnosed with a degenerative eye condition called keratoconus in 2008. Pham underwent a breakthrough surgery that halted the erosion and has cycled through a variety of contact lenses looking for the right fit.

''We've seen flashes of brilliance over the last couple of seasons from Tommy. This is the season he's been able to maintain,'' Matheny said. ''I think that has a lot to do with the physical issue.''

UP NEXT

The Cardinals send RHP Mike Leake to the mound and the Royals counter with RHP Trevor Cahill when the series shifts to St. Louis on Wednesday night. Cahill has struggled in his first two starts for the Royals since arriving in a trade with the San Diego Padres last month.

---

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Copyright 2017 by STATS. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.

123456789RHE
STL57-56
00016030010140
KC57-55
000300000361
  • W: M. Wacha (9-4)L: J. Vargas (13-6)
  • HR: STL - Y. Molina (13), R. Grichuk (14), J. Gyorko (15)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
M. Carpenter 1B31210110.253.386.459.8456.5
L. Voit 1B10000010.257.337.473.810-0.5
T. Pham LF51100123.308.397.495.8922.0
P. DeJong SS50200013.285.308.553.8611.5
J. Martinez DH40100115.288.358.500.8581.5
Y. Molina C42231000.283.317.438.75510.0
a- C. Kelly PH-C10000001.118.167.176.3430.0
D. Fowler CF41200110.246.339.465.8045.5
J. Gyorko 3B22131301.275.344.468.81211.0
K. Wong 2B41100014.296.383.422.8052.5
R. Grichuk RF52221001.231.280.448.7289.0
  • a-flied out for Molina in the 8th
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
W. Merrifield 2B40100001.293.332.483.8141.0
L. Cain CF30000011.283.348.432.780-0.5
A. Gordon CF00000000.197.288.294.5821.0
E. Hosmer 1B31000112.313.370.494.8641.5
B. Moss 1B00000000.209.288.430.7170.0
M. Cabrera LF41200011.298.339.442.7814.5
M. Moustakas DH40000004.274.304.552.8570.0
J. Bonifacio RF31000111.254.327.434.7611.5
C. Cuthbert 3B40230011.208.232.292.5245.5
A. Escobar SS40000012.221.243.300.543-0.5
D. Butera C30100020.240.296.350.6460.0
    BATTING
    • 2B - M. Carpenter (27), D. Fowler 2 (13)
    • HR - Y. Molina (13), J. Gyorko (15), R. Grichuk (14)
    • RBI - M. Carpenter (54), Y. Molina 3 (50), J. Gyorko 3 (55), R. Grichuk 2 (41)
    • 2-Out RBI - M. Carpenter (17), J. Gyorko 3 (20), R. Grichuk (14)
    BATTING
    • 2B - C. Cuthbert (5)
    • RBI - C. Cuthbert 3 (13)
    • 2-Out RBI - C. Cuthbert 3 (11)
    BASERUNNING
    • CS - J. Gyorko
    BASERUNNING
    • SB - M. Cabrera
    FIELDING
    • E - N. Feliz
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    M. Wacha (W, 9-4)6.06332503.701.3019.5
    S. Oh1.00000103.421.323.5
    Z. Duke1.00000004.151.153.0
    J. Brebbia1.00000202.100.774.0
    PITCHERSIP
    M. Wacha (W, 9-4)6.0
    S. Oh1.0
    Z. Duke1.0
    J. Brebbia1.0
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    J. Vargas (L, 13-6)4.28663323.401.27-8.5
    M. Minor1.13111112.621.04-1.5
    N. Feliz1.02321205.001.29-1.0
    B. Maurer1.01002105.671.330.5
    J. Soria1.00000103.211.203.5
    PITCHERSIP
    J. Vargas (L, 13-6)4.2
    M. Minor1.1
    N. Feliz1.0
    B. Maurer1.0
    J. Soria1.0
    PITCHING
    • HBP - Z. Duke (2)
    • Pitches-Strikes - M. Wacha 96-63, S. Oh 15-13, Z. Duke 16-10, J. Brebbia 17-10
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - M. Wacha 4-8
    • Batters Faced - M. Wacha 25, S. Oh 3, Z. Duke 4, J. Brebbia 3
    PITCHING
    • WP - J. Vargas 2 (6)
    • HBP - J. Vargas (3), N. Feliz
    • Pitches-Strikes - J. Vargas 88-51, M. Minor 29-17, N. Feliz 29-17, B. Maurer 30-17, J. Soria 9-7
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Vargas 5-4, M. Minor 1-1, N. Feliz 1-0, J. Soria 1-1
    • Batters Faced - J. Vargas 24, M. Minor 7, N. Feliz 7, B. Maurer 6, J. Soria 3
    PLAYERS OF THE GAME
    123456789RHE
    STL57-56
    00016030010140
    KC57-55
    000300000361
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    M. Carpenter 1B31210110.253.386.459.8456.5
    L. Voit 1B10000010.257.337.473.810-0.5
    T. Pham LF51100123.308.397.495.8922.0
    P. DeJong SS50200013.285.308.553.8611.5
    J. Martinez DH40100115.288.358.500.8581.5
    Y. Molina C42231000.283.317.438.75510.0
    a- C. Kelly PH-C10000001.118.167.176.3430.0
    D. Fowler CF41200110.246.339.465.8045.5
    J. Gyorko 3B22131301.275.344.468.81211.0
    K. Wong 2B41100014.296.383.422.8052.5
    R. Grichuk RF52221001.231.280.448.7289.0
    Total381014937818-----
    • a-flied out for Molina in the 8th
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    W. Merrifield 2B40100001.293.332.483.8141.0
    L. Cain CF30000011.283.348.432.780-0.5
    A. Gordon CF00000000.197.288.294.5821.0
    E. Hosmer 1B31000112.313.370.494.8641.5
    B. Moss 1B00000000.209.288.430.7170.0
    M. Cabrera LF41200011.298.339.442.7814.5
    M. Moustakas DH40000004.274.304.552.8570.0
    J. Bonifacio RF31000111.254.327.434.7611.5
    C. Cuthbert 3B40230011.208.232.292.5245.5
    A. Escobar SS40000012.221.243.300.543-0.5
    D. Butera C30100020.240.296.350.6460.0
    Total3236302813-----
      BATTING
      • 2B - M. Carpenter (27), D. Fowler 2 (13)
      • HR - Y. Molina (13), J. Gyorko (15), R. Grichuk (14)
      • RBI - M. Carpenter (54), Y. Molina 3 (50), J. Gyorko 3 (55), R. Grichuk 2 (41)
      • 2-Out RBI - M. Carpenter (17), J. Gyorko 3 (20), R. Grichuk (14)
      BATTING
      • 2B - C. Cuthbert (5)
      • RBI - C. Cuthbert 3 (13)
      • 2-Out RBI - C. Cuthbert 3 (11)
      BASERUNNING
      • CS - J. Gyorko
      BASERUNNING
      • SB - M. Cabrera
      FIELDING
      • E - N. Feliz
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      M. Wacha (W, 9-4)6.06332503.701.3019.5
      S. Oh1.00000103.421.323.5
      Z. Duke1.00000004.151.153.0
      J. Brebbia1.00000202.100.774.0
      Total9.0633280---
      PITCHERSIP
      M. Wacha (W, 9-4)6.0
      S. Oh1.0
      Z. Duke1.0
      J. Brebbia1.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      J. Vargas (L, 13-6)4.28663323.401.27-8.5
      M. Minor1.13111112.621.04-1.5
      N. Feliz1.02321205.001.29-1.0
      B. Maurer1.01002105.671.330.5
      J. Soria1.00000103.211.203.5
      Total9.014109783---
      PITCHERSIP
      J. Vargas (L, 13-6)4.2
      M. Minor1.1
      N. Feliz1.0
      B. Maurer1.0
      J. Soria1.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHING
      • HBP - Z. Duke (2)
      • Pitches-Strikes - M. Wacha 96-63, S. Oh 15-13, Z. Duke 16-10, J. Brebbia 17-10
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - M. Wacha 4-8
      • Batters Faced - M. Wacha 25, S. Oh 3, Z. Duke 4, J. Brebbia 3
      PITCHING
      • WP - J. Vargas 2 (6)
      • HBP - J. Vargas (3), N. Feliz
      • Pitches-Strikes - J. Vargas 88-51, M. Minor 29-17, N. Feliz 29-17, B. Maurer 30-17, J. Soria 9-7
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J. Vargas 5-4, M. Minor 1-1, N. Feliz 1-0, J. Soria 1-1
      • Batters Faced - J. Vargas 24, M. Minor 7, N. Feliz 7, B. Maurer 6, J. Soria 3
      • 7TH INNING
        Carpenter doubled to deep right, Grichuk scored103
        Grichuk singled to right, Gyorko and Wong scored, Grichuk to second on right fielder Bonifacio fielding error93
      • 5TH INNING
        Gyorko homered to left, Molina and Fowler scored73
        Molina singled to shallow left, Carpenter and Pham scored, Martinez out at third43
        Grichuk homered to left23
      • 4TH INNING
        Cuthbert doubled to deep left, Hosmer, Cabrera and Bonifacio scored13
        Molina homered to center10
      • 9TH INNING
        • Joakim Soria relieved Brandon Maurer
        • Brandon Moss at first
        • R. Grichuk: Strike looking, Grichuk grounded out to third
        • L. Voit: Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Voit struck out swinging
        • T. Pham: Strike swinging, Ball, Pham flied out to left
        • Middle of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • John Brebbia relieved Zach Duke
        • J. Bonifacio: Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Bonifacio flied out to left
        • C. Cuthbert: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Cuthbert struck out looking
        • A. Escobar: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Escobar struck out swinging
        • End of the 9th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 8TH INNING
        • Brandon Maurer relieved Neftali Feliz
        • Alex Gordon in center
        • P. DeJong: Strike looking, DeJong flied out to right
        • J. Martinez: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Martinez singled to right
        • Carson Kelly hit for Yadier Molina
        • C. Kelly: Strike looking, Ball, Kelly flied out to left
        • D. Fowler: Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Foul, Foul, Ball, Fowler walked, Martinez to second
        • J. Gyorko: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Gyorko walked, Martinez to third, Fowler to second
        • K. Wong: Foul, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Strike swinging, Wong struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • Zach Duke relieved Seung-Hwan Oh
        • Luke Voit at first
        • A. Gordon: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Gordon hit by pitch
        • E. Hosmer: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Hosmer flied out to center
        • M. Cabrera: Strike looking, Cabrera popped out to second
        • M. Moustakas: Strike looking, Ball, Moustakas flied out to deep center
        • End of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 7TH INNING
        • Neftali Feliz relieved Mike Minor
        • Y. Molina: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Molina grounded out to shortstop
        • D. Fowler: Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Fowler struck out swinging
        • J. Gyorko: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Gyorko walked
        • K. Wong: Ball, Wong hit by pitch, Gyorko to second
        • R. Grichuk: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Grichuk singled to right, Gyorko and Wong scored, Grichuk to second on right fielder Bonifacio fielding error
        • M. Carpenter: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Carpenter doubled to deep right, Grichuk scored
        • T. Pham: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Pham struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 7th (3 Runs, 3 Hits, 1 Error)
        • Seung-Hwan Oh relieved Michael Wacha
        • A. Escobar: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Foul, Foul, Escobar flied out to center
        • D. Butera: Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Butera struck out swinging
        • W. Merrifield: Strike looking, Foul, Foul, Merrifield lined out to shortstop
        • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 6TH INNING
        • M. Minor Pitching:
        • M. Carpenter: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul tip, Carpenter struck out on foul tip
        • T. Pham: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Pham walked
        • P. DeJong: Ball, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Ball, Pickoff attempt, Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, DeJong singled to right, Pham to second
        • J. Martinez: Strike swinging, Martinez grounded into double play third to second to first, DeJong out at second
        • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • M. Wacha Pitching:
        • M. Cabrera: Strike looking, Strike looking, Ball, Cabrera singled to left
        • M. Moustakas: Moustakas flied out to center
        • J. Bonifacio: Ball, Bonifacio flied out to left
        • C. Cuthbert: Strike looking, Ball, Cuthbert grounded out to third
        • End of the 6th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 5TH INNING
        • J. Vargas Pitching:
        • R. Grichuk: Ball, Grichuk homered to left
        • M. Carpenter: Ball, Ball, Carpenter hit by pitch
        • T. Pham: Ball, Foul, Ball, Carpenter to second on wild pitch, Pham reached on an infield single to second, Carpenter to third
        • P. DeJong: Pickoff attempt to first, Pickoff attempt to first, Pickoff attempt to third, Ball, Pham to second on wild pitch, DeJong grounded out to pitcher
        • J. Martinez: Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Martinez walked
        • Y. Molina: Molina singled to shallow left, Carpenter and Pham scored, Martinez out at third
        • D. Fowler: Pickoff attempt, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Fowler doubled to deep right, Molina to third
        • Mike Minor relieved Jason Vargas
        • J. Gyorko: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Gyorko homered to left, Molina and Fowler scored
        • K. Wong: Strike looking, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Wong reached on an infield single to shortstop
        • R. Grichuk: Pickoff attempt, Grichuk flied out to center
        • Middle of the 5th (6 Runs, 6 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • M. Wacha Pitching:
        • D. Butera: Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Butera struck out swinging
        • W. Merrifield: Merrifield singled to right
        • L. Cain: Strike looking, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Cain struck out swinging
        • E. Hosmer: Pickoff attempt, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Hosmer struck out swinging
        • End of the 5th (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 4TH INNING
        • J. Vargas Pitching:
        • Y. Molina: Strike looking, Molina homered to center
        • D. Fowler: Strike looking, Foul, Fowler lined out to left
        • J. Gyorko: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Ball, Gyorko walked
        • K. Wong: Gyorko picked off at second, pitcher to first to shortstop to second, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Wong grounded out to second
        • Middle of the 4th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • M. Wacha Pitching:
        • L. Cain: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Cain lined out to right
        • E. Hosmer: Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Hosmer walked
        • M. Cabrera: Ball, Cabrera singled to center, Hosmer to third
        • M. Moustakas: Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Foul, Moustakas popped out to shortstop
        • J. Bonifacio: Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Cabrera stole second, Foul, Ball, Ball, Bonifacio walked
        • C. Cuthbert: Cuthbert doubled to deep left, Hosmer, Cabrera and Bonifacio scored
        • A. Escobar: Foul, Escobar lined out to right
        • End of the 4th (3 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 3RD INNING
        • J. Vargas Pitching:
        • R. Grichuk: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Grichuk grounded out to shortstop
        • M. Carpenter: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Carpenter walked
        • T. Pham: Strike swinging, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Pham struck out swinging
        • P. DeJong: DeJong singled to left, Carpenter to second
        • J. Martinez: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Martinez lined out to shortstop
        • Middle of the 3rd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • M. Wacha Pitching:
        • C. Cuthbert: Strike looking, Ball, Cuthbert singled to left
        • A. Escobar: Ball, Foul, Pickoff attempt, Strike looking, Foul, Escobar grounded into double play shortstop to second to first, Cuthbert out at second
        • D. Butera: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Butera singled to center
        • W. Merrifield: Ball, Strike looking, Merrifield popped out to third
        • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 2ND INNING
        • J. Vargas Pitching:
        • Y. Molina: Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Foul, Molina grounded out to shortstop
        • D. Fowler: Strike looking, Ball, Fowler doubled to center
        • J. Gyorko: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Gyorko grounded out to third
        • K. Wong: Strike looking, Wong flied out to left
        • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • M. Wacha Pitching:
        • M. Cabrera: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Cabrera struck out looking
        • M. Moustakas: Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Foul, Moustakas grounded out to second
        • J. Bonifacio: Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Bonifacio struck out swinging
        • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 1ST INNING
        • J. Vargas Pitching:
        • M. Carpenter: Strike looking, Ball, Carpenter singled to right
        • T. Pham: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Pham lined out to left
        • P. DeJong: Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, DeJong struck out swinging
        • J. Martinez: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Martinez struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • M. Wacha Pitching:
        • W. Merrifield: Ball, Foul, Merrifield flied out to shallow left
        • L. Cain: Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Cain flied out to right
        • E. Hosmer: Hosmer grounded out to second
        • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)