Jack Flaherty looked like anything but a pitcher who hadn’t faced a major league batter since the end of May. Flaherty threw six scoreless innings as the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Kansas City Royals 6-0 Friday night in the first game of a three-game series.
Flaherty (9-1) threw 81 pitches in his first outing since going on the Injured List May 31 with a left oblique strain. He allowed only two hits, struck out five and didn’t walk a batter. He faced four batters only once in his six innings.
Flaherty is now 4-0 with a 0.72 ERA all-time against the Royals, including 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA in Kansas City.
The Cardinals won their fourth straight game and six of their last seven. They’ve won 10 of their last 12 games in Kauffman Stadium. The Cardinals now stand 68-46 all-time against the Royals, good for a .596 winning percentage, the best in the history of interleague play against one opponent (minimum 100 games).
Whit Merrifield played in his 421st straight game for the Royals, the longest active streak in the majors. He tied Alcides Escobar for the longest streak in franchise history. He was 0-for-3 with a walk.
Mike Minor (8-11) took the loss for Kansas City despite a quality start. He allowed three runs on six hits–four in one inning–in six innings. He walked only one and struck out seven.
Minor looked just as good as Flaherty until the fourth inning when he gave up back-to-back home runs to Nolan Arenado and Tyler O’Neill, the Cardinals’ first two hits of the game. It was the fifth time this season that the Cardinals have hit back-to-back home runs.
The Cardinals added a run in the fifth. Tommy Edman reached on a fielder’s choice and later went to third on a single by Paul Goldschmidt. Arenado hit a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Edman.
The Cardinals added two runs in the eighth on a single by Yadier Molina and a sacrifice fly by Paul DeJong, and one in the ninth on a homer by Lars Nootbaar.
–Field Level Media