Cards finish off KC in back and forth affair

The St. Louis Cardinals had strong hitting and just enough pitching as they swept Kansas City with a Sunday win.

INSIDE PITCH

 

The disappointment hitting coach Mark McGwire felt after a stretch of 12 games in which the Cardinals scored three runs or fewer 10 times was eased by a visit to cross-state rival Kansas City.

 

After scoring seven runs in three games at Detroit, the Cardinals erupted for 30 runs in three games against the Royals, sweeping the interleague series with an 11-8 wrap-up win Sunday.

 

The Cardinals had 42 hits in the three games.

 

One of the few downsides was that right-hander Lance Lynn wasn't able to post his 11th win with such offensive largesse. He had leads of 3-0, 5-2 and 6-5 but got a no-decision when he gave up six runs in 5 1/3 innings. Showing perhaps some weariness for the first time this season, Lynn, in his first year as a major league starter, has allowed 11 runs over his last 10 2/3 innings in two games.

 

Manager Mike Matheny said of Lynn, "I don't think he was delusional thinking he was going to roll through this league without some bumps."

 

Lynn, who is 10-3, said he felt the best Sunday that he had felt all season. However, he acknowledged the last two games "were both really bad. They were the worst two starts of my career.

 

"I'm giving up too many hits and too many runs. I've got to pitch better, plain and simple."

 

After dropping to .500 for the fifth time this season, the Cardinals returned to three games over for the first time since May 31.

 

There were six home runs Sunday, four by the Royals, but the key plays in the game were much quieter.

 

With the score tied at 6-6, Matt Holliday stole second with two outs in the seventh inning. Holliday then scored the go-ahead run on a single by David Freese, who continued to star in the bottom of the inning.

 

The Royals had runners at first and third with two outs when Billy Butler hit a tough slider from right-hander Eduardo Sanchez but didn't hit it very far. The

ball trickled toward third, where Freese charged hard, made a barehanded grab and a strong throw to first to nip Butler.

 

"Big turning point in the game," Matheny said.

 

NOTES, QUOTES

DH Carlos Beltran, returning to Kansas City for the first time since he was traded by the Royals to Houston eight years ago, got the Cardinals off and running with a three-run homer in the first inning Sunday. Beltran, who has 20 homers and 56 RBI, both at the top of the charts of the National League charts, went 5-for-15 with eight RBI in the three-game series.

RF Allen Craig knocked in two key insurance runs in the ninth inning after SS Rafael Furcal was walked intentionally to load the bases. Craig, who injured his left wrist in Detroit when he failed to make a diving catch, went into a 1-for-15 slide but finished the Kansas City series by going 4 for his last 6 with five RBI. Craig said the wrist injury "was not affecting my swing at all. I'm out there playing. If I'm out there playing, there are no excuses." Craig also made a good over-the-shoulder catch in the outfield Sunday.

RHP Chris Carpenter, who has been out all season with a weak shoulder, will throw to hitters for the second time Monday in Miami, and then he is expected to go on a rehabilitation option. He might make three to four minor league starts before potentially rejoining the team in mid-July.

1B Lance Berkman, recovering from right knee surgery of last month, will meet up with the team Friday at the start of the next homestand. "He's not too far from seeing some baseball activity," GM John Mozeliak said.

The Cardinals' designated hitters, Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday, went a combined 7-for-15 with nine RBI in the three-game series at Kansas City.

By the Numbers:

8-7 - The Cardinals' interleague record this season.

Quote to Note:

"They're hitting my mistakes, where before I was getting away with them. I've got to stop making so many mistakes."

- RHP Lance Lynn, who has had two rough outings in a row.

MEDICAL WATCH

LHP Jaime Garcia (left shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 6. After further examination, it was determined that he has tearing in his rotator cuff. He won't throw until at least late July and is out until at least mid-August.

1B Lance Berkman (torn meniscus in right knee) went on the 15-day disabled list May 20. He had arthroscopic surgery May 25, and no ACL damage was found. He might be able to resume baseball activity in late June.

RHP Kyle McClellan (strained right ulnar collateral ligament) went on the 15-day disabled list May 18. He won't need surgery but likely will be sidelined until at least late July.

RHP Chris Carpenter (weak right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 10. He threw for the first time since March on June 13 and then threw another 40 pitches on June 15. He threw to hitters for the first time June 22, and he might be ready to start a rehab assignment in late June or early July.

Link to boxscore: St. Louis 11 at Kansas City 8

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