Cheap Seats

Game 72: Cardinals 8, Royals 2

Is it a coincidence that the Cardinals got back two of their offensive pieces and the club that had been averaging two runs a game is suddenly putting up 9.5 per contest?

You can't blame their second successive victory over the Royals on weak competition because St. Louis couldn't score against Kansas City last weekend to save their lives. 

On Sunday Jon Jay and Matt Carpenter again combined to contribute three hits to the offense and the Redbirds spanked the Royals 8-2 in front of a friendly crowd at Kaufman Stadium. But their contribution has added up to a lot more than what they directly provided on the scoreboard. Jay batting second in the order and Carpenter batting seventh has provided a lot more balance for St. Louis and filled the holes in the line-up.

The Birds' first six hitters got at least two hits -- led by Matt Holliday who was 4-for-5 with two runs scored and two driven in.

Adam Wainwright started the game for St. Louis and continues to gain steam. He pitched seven innings and allowed six hits and a walk while whiffing four. Carpenter gave up two earned runs. But I think Jon Jay would tell you he should have caught a ball in the sixth inning that got over his head for a triple, driving in one run and then scoring the other on a groundout.

Wainwright earned the victory to improve to 6-7 with a 4.32 ERA. Mitchell Boggs and Jason Motte each contributed a perfect inning to close out the game and help the Cardinals to a series win and a chance to sweep Sunday.

Cardinals Star of the Game: Holliday who improved his batting average to .297 with his four-hit day.

Cardinals Play of the Game: Allen Craig, who has struggled lately with the bat, hit his ninth homer of the season in the seventh inning. It was remarkable in the fact that he battled and fought of several tough pitches before launching a ball over the left field wall and also in that it was a timely answer to the Royals' sixth inning effort to get back into the game. It turned a 5-2 contest into a 7-2 game.

Lowlight: The Cardinals felt compelled to sit Yadier Molina because umpire Rob Drake is apparently unprofessional enough that manager Mike Matheny thought he needed to keep the pair apart. Drake last year called Molina out in a game against the Brewers on a pitch that was at least four inches inside then immediately threw Yadi out of the game when he argued. While the spat (pun intended) went on, Drake dramatically recoiled and wiped his face with his hand like Molina hocked a loogey in his eye because perhaps a little spittle flew out of Molina's mouth while he was shouting. Anyway... because Molina had to sit, the Birds used Tony Cruz as backstop and he was the only St. Louis starter who was held hitless.

Related stories from Belleville News-Democrat