Matt Carpenter and Lars Nootbaar delivered pinch-hit RBIs as the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the visiting Kansas City Royals 5-2 Saturday.
Yadier Molina drove in two runs and Nolan Arenado added a solo homer as the Cardinals pulled back to .500 for the eighth time since July 19.
Cardinals starting pitcher Kwang Hyun Kim allowed two runs on four hits and two walks in four innings. Luis Garcia (1-0) followed with two scoreless innings to earn the victory.
Ryan Helsley and Genesis Cabrera blanked the Royals for an inning each, then Giovanny Gallegos closed out the ninth inning to earn his second save.
The Royals fell for the sixth time in eight games on their nine-game road trip. Starting pitcher Brad Keller (7-11) worked into the sixth inning, but he allowed five runs on seven hits and five walks while retiring 15 batters.
The Cardinals broke out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Dylan Carlson and Paul Goldschmidt drew walks before advancing on a groundout.
Molina hit a two-out single on a fly ball that right fielder Hunter Dozier appeared to lose in the sun.
The Royals got to Kim in the fourth inning. Dozier hit a one-out single, Emmanuel Rivera drew a two-out walk, and Michael A. Taylor and Hanser Alberto hit RBI singles to tie the game at 2.
The Cardinals regained the lead in the bottom of the inning. Paul DeJong hit a double, Tommy Edman followed with a single and Carpenter, hitting for Kim, pulled an RBI double into the right field corner.
Edman was thrown out trying to score behind DeJong, so the Cardinals settled for a 3-2 margin.
Arenado’s solo homer in the fifth inning increased that lead to 4-2.
DeJong hit a leadoff single in the sixth and raced to third on Edman’s hit-and-run single. Nootbaar, hitting for Garcia, greeted Josh Staumont with an RBI single to make it 5-2.
–Field Level Media