These gut punch losses are getting a little bit old.
The Royals jumped on the Cardinals early, rallied soon after and were ultimately sank by a cat and Yadier Molina in tonight's 8-5 loss at Busch Stadium.
The loss pulled the Royals to just one game over .500 and will look to stay above .500, as well as avoid a four-game sweep to the Cardinals tomorrow night.
For a game that sucked as bad as it did, it started off with some promise.
The first five Royals reached against Leake, with Whit Merrifield and Lorenzo Cain scoring, to put the Royals up 2-0 after an inning.
A Cain RBI double and a Melky Cabrera single did the damage.
The Royals added another run in the 2nd on a throwing error from Yadier Molina that drove in Merrifield and put Kansas City up 3-0.
The Cardinals chipped into that lead in the bottom half of the inning, however, on a Mike Leake sac bunt and a Matt Carpenter single, making it a 3-2 game.
Both starting pitchers labored through the first two innings. Leake gave up seven base runners in the first two frames, while Trevor Cahill gave up six, including three walks.
Unlike his counterpart, Cahill failed to make it out of the third, giving up four hits and five walks in his 2.1 innings.
Cahill's real trouble came in that third inning. Dexter Fowler led off the inning with a walk and after stealing second base, scored on a Jedd Gyorko single to tie the game.
Kolten Wong followed with a walk, which drew Ned Yost out of the dugout to retrieve Cahill in favor of Scott Alexander.
In his last two starts, Cahill has managed just seven innings combined and surrendered eight and nine base runners in those starts, respectively.
Alexander gave up an infield single to Randal Grichuk, but got Leake to ground into a double play to end the inning with the tie still in tact.
The tie did not survive very long, however, when former Royal Jose Martinez took Alexander deep to give the Cardinals their first lead at 4-3.
Alexander has been pretty darn good this season, but this was the fourth consecutive appearance that he had surrendered a run.
The Royals weren't quite done, however.
Eric Hosmer led off the 5th with a single to left, but Leake was able to get ahead 1-2 on Melky Cabrera.
Melky did not care.
Cabrera launched a 1-2 breaker from Leake into the right field bullpen to give the lead back to the Royals at 5-4.
Unfortunately for the Royals, the Cardinals also weren't quite done.
Brandon Maurer replaced Alexander in the 6th and proceeded to give up a single and a walk to start the inning. Ned has a quick hook with the struggling former Padre, bringing in Peter Moylan to get him out of trouble.
The runners advance to second and third on a flyout to right, but Moylan responded with a strikeout of Paul DeJong for a harmless second out.
Faced with the switch hitting Fowler, the Royals opted to intentionally walk him to face Yadier Molina instead.
I'm not going to editorialize this. Rather, I'm just give it to you straight. This stupid cat ran on the field and it was cute and reminded us of the rally squirrel, so naturally, Molina responded by launching a Moylan fastball over the left-field fence for a grand slam.
This cat REALLY didn't want to leave the Cardinals game. pic.twitter.com/1M4zSljXte— ESPN (@espn) August 10, 2017
The Cardinals went up 8-5 at that point, a score that would survive the test of time (for this ballgame).
You could feel the air sucked out of the Royals dugout, as it had been in each of the first two games of this series.
The Royals scratched together just two baserunners the rest of the way, ensuring their third consecutive loss and their eighth loss over their last 10 contests.
Up Next: Kansas City Royals at St. Louis Cardinals, Thursday, August 10, 2017, 6:15 PM CDT, Busch Stadium. RHP Jason Hammel (5-9, 4.73 ERA) v. Lance Lynn (10-6, 3.12 ERA)