After scaring us all with ...valgus...problems, Yordano Ventura came back tonight throwing fire. Ventura eclipsed 100 a few times tonight and kept his velocity going all the way through the game, totaling 91 pitches. Boom, fixed.
Ventura went 6 innings and gave up only two runs to the dirty Redbirds of St. Louis, one of which was on a Peter Bourjos triple past center fielder Lorenzo Cain, who apparently took a bad route according to intrepid reporter Andy McCullough, for a triple in the 2nd inning. The Cardinals scored again in the 4th inning off a Jon Jay single, a Bourjos walk, and a Matt Carpenter single.
Otherwise, the Cardinals did little against relievers Francisley Bueno, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland. Holland did what Holland does and struck out 3 guys in the 9th, sealing the victory despite a replay review. The Cardinals managed 8 hits, only 2 of which were of the extra base variety.
Norichika Aoki's run of painful luck continued this evening when Yadier Molina struck him with a baseball in the head attempting to throw the ball back to his pitcher. Aoki wasn't too far off the plate, but he wasn't close enough to it that we can blame him for getting hit. Molina is a professional catcher, and one of his jobs is to throw the ball back to the pitcher without hitting other people in the process. He failed. Miserably. Aoki should probably wear a helmet. Oh. Right. Pillows?
Aoki made them pay with AN EXTRA BASE HIT in the 6th inning to score Alcides Escobar, who had just hit a double himself. Aoki had only 10 of those extra base hit thingies coming into tonight. To be fair, it was one of those slappy, grounder/liner things that was just barely fair past 3rd base. It wasn't, say, a gapper to deep left or something.
After Omar Infante moved Aoki over to third with a groundout, Eric Hosmer singled to score Aoki. Hosmer later scored on another single by Salvador Perez. The Royals rode the BABIP train to 3 runs in the 6th inning, and that's all they needed for the W. The Royals totaled only 7 hits in the game, but they needed only 5 of them to score 3 runs. What happened to those home run things?
The Royals took 3 of 4 from the I-70 rivals. Victory is sweet. Sweet like a tart strawberry.