Cardinals 10, Royals 7

Matt Holliday found that elusive comfort zone.

Holliday homered and drove in five runs and Yadier Molina

homered and drove in four, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a

10-7 win over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday.

Holliday also doubled twice and singled. Molina broke a 7-all

tie with a two-run, bases-loaded single off reliever Greg Holland

in the seventh inning.

After starting the game in an 0-for-12 rut, Holliday got four

hits.

”It’s been frustrating, my swing had been a little off,” he

said. ”I’ve just been trying to battle, trying to find a good

groove.”

The veteran slugger made a few minor adjustments in batting

practice. Those moves paid dividends.

”Some little mechanical things,” he said. ”It is nice to see

the results.”

St. Louis won for the third time in four games. Kansas City’s

season high-tying four-game winning streak ended.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was ejected in the first after

umpires overruled an initial call that temporarily led to a

temporary triple play.

With runners on first and second, Eric Hosmer hit a line drive

that St. Louis pitcher Joe Kelly snared near the ground and threw

to first. After first baseman Matt Adams tossed the ball back to

Kelly, the pitcher then threw to second for the apparent third

out.

But after a three-minute conference that included crew chief

Dana DeMuth, the umpires ruled that the ball hit the ground. Bench

coach Mike Aldrete took over for Matheny.

”I saw the ball bounce,” said Hosmer.

Matheny said he wasn’t arguing about the reversal. Instead, he

said he was upset that the umpires didn’t make an immediate ruling

on Hosmer’s ball.

”The issue was, the pitcher came up with the ball looking for a

call to be made,” Matheny said. ”The play was not to first base

if we get a quick ruling on what it is. That was my argument.”

Said DeMuth: ”Our main concern was to get the call right. When

I got everybody together, nobody had a catch.”

Holliday staked his team to an early 2-0 lead with a 431-foot

homer off Bruce Chen in the first. Molina also hit a two-run homer

in the first.

Chen gave up six earned runs on seven hits over 1 2-3 innings,

his shortest start of the season.

”I’m definitely not very happy with the way I pitched,” Chen

said. ”I just didn’t pitch well enough to help my team win.”

Mike Moustakas homered and drove in four runs for the Royals,

who rallied from a 6-1 deficit to a take a 7-6 lead with three runs

in the seventh.

Mitchell Boggs (1-1) picked up the win with 1 1-3 innings of

scoreless relief. Jason Motte recorded his 14th save in 17

chances.

Tim Collins (4-1) took the loss.

Alcides Escobar had a two-run single in the seventh to give the

Royals a 7-6 lead.

Holliday, who began the day in an 0-for-12 rut, tied it with an

RBI single in the seventh. Allen Craig walked to load the bases for

Molina.

Kansas City came back with single runs in the fourth, fifth and

sixth innings before taking the lead with three in the seventh.

Hosmer walked and Jeff Francoeur singled before Moustakas added an

RBI hit. Brayan Pena followed an infield single to load the bases

and Escobar poked a hit to right to give the Royals a 7-6 lead.

”I was really proud of the offense, the way they stayed after

it,” Kansas City manager Ned Yost said. ”Down 6-1, they just kept

putting together good at-bats. We battled back and got the lead,

but from the seventh inning on (our pitchers) just really struggled

to command the ball.”

Kelly, making his second major league start, gave up two earned

runs on seven hits in 4 1-3 innings.

Carlos Beltran added three hits and extended his hitting streak

to nine games. He pushed the lead to 5-1 with an RBI single and

Holliday followed with an RBI double.

Moustakas hit his 10th homer in the fourth. He also had a

run-scoring single in the first and an RBI groundout in the

fifth.

NOTES: The Royals’ five previous games had all been decided by

one run. They won four. … Kansas City RHP Luis Mendoza (2-3, 4.89

ERA) will face Adam Wainwright (5-7, 4.75) in the series finale on

Sunday. Mendoza took a no-hit bid into the seventh of his previous

start, a 2-1 win over Milwaukee on Tuesday. … The Cardinals are

39-29 in regular-season meetings with their cross-state neighbors.

… Billy Butler made his first pinch-hitting appearance this

season for the Royals and flied out. … Kelly picked off Chris

Getz at first in the third inning. Kelly became the third St. Louis

pitcher to register a pickoff this season, along with Jaime Garcia

and Jake Westbrook.