As the St. Louis Cardinals committed mistake after mistake, the Kansas City Royals, powered by a resurgent Kendrys Morales and a defense that actually makes plays most of the time, defeated the Cardinals with a 4-2 victory. The win gives the Royals the season series against the Cardinals.
The game began with a bang for the Royals, or, more accurately, a whimper for the Cardinals. Whit Merrifield, the Sparkplug, reached base on a throwing error by third baseman Jhonny Peralta, which also allowed Merrifield to cruise to second base. With the scorching hot Kendrys Morales batting, Merrifield stole third base, and then jogged home on former Royal Brayan Pena's throwing error.
In the second inning, Peralta continued his utter lack of defense. After starter Mike Leake got Salvador Perez and Christian Colon out, Alcides Escobar singled. Jarrod Dyson then sent a shallow popup to shallow left field. Peralta failed to field the catch. It was ruled a double, a popup double, which is endlessly amusing. Dyson was tagged out at third after trying to stretch his 'double' into a 'triple.' Escobar scored, though, making it 2-0 Royals.
Chris Young ultimately came through with a decent result. He pitched four innings, allowing only one hit and one run with five strikeouts. Except that one hit was a home run. And he walked six batters, three in the first inning. Young skirted around danger in the same way that a Saturday morning cartoon adventurer does, somehow escaping certain death time and time again through sheer force of will. Young has now allowed a home run in 12 consecutive starts, one away from a Royals record. His walk rate is now 4.53 per nine innings. After Young's early exit, Dillon Gee pitched a mostly-clean two innings, striking out three and only allowing a solo home run to Peralta, desperately attempting to claim redemption from his two earlier mistakes.
But the Cardinals continued to make mistakes. One night after the Cardinals committed three errors, the Cardinals again committed three errors: Peralta's innacurate throw towards first base in the first, Pena's poor attempt at catching Merrifield stealing in the first, and Leake's errant pickoff throw in the sixth. In addition, there were a bunch of other mistakes going on that weren't ruled as errors, including Peralta's failed catch in the first, Mike Matheny's ejection over a reasonably obvious challenge by Kansas City, and a few wild pitches by Leake.
The Royals scored their third and fourth runs in the sixth and eighth innings, both by the indomitable designated hitter-turned-right fielder Kendrys Morales. Morales has heated up in a way that you only really see in easy mode in baseball video games. Before tonight's contest, Morales had slashed .446/.500/.692 in his previous 18 games. The double in the sixth and the home run in the eighth represented two of Morales' three hits tonight.
Wade Davis turned in a successful save in the ninth. In recent times, he has looked far more human than in the past two years, but Davis was so good that coming down a bit from that peak only proves his past greatness as truly historical. Even so, his ERA now is a puny 1.23. So it goes.
The game was never really close, and the only reason it wasn't a blowout was a combined 0-7 by Salvador Perez and Christian Colon, the pair leaving seven runners on base. The Royals close out June with a 13-14 record; tomorrow Kansas City seeks to win more games against inferior National League opponents as they travel to Philadelphia for a three-game set against the Phillies.