Cardinals 9, Royals 8(10)

Somebody’s going to see Colby Rasmus had only one at-bat in St.

Louis’ 9-8 victory over Kansas City and wonder how long he was in

the game.

”I’ll tell them about 4 hours and 30 minutes worth,”

deadpanned the weary center fielder.

St. Louis drew 13 walks in the 4 hour, 9 minute affair and

Rasmus had five, each one off a different pitcher. In the 10th

inning of the wacky afternoon affair with the bases loaded in a 7-7

tie, Tim Collins threw him four straight bad ones. That forced in

the go-ahead run as the Cardinals took the always-lively

interleague series between state rivals two games to one.

”A couple of (at-bats) they didn’t give me nothing, really,”

Rasmus said. ”And a couple of times I battled off some tough

pitches. The threw me some good pitches and I battled them to a

walk.”

Yadier Molina had a double, two singles and a two-run triple for

the Cardinals, who have won six of seven and opened a 2 1/2-game

lead in the NL Central.

”A win is a win, no matter how we win,” said Molina. ”We’ll

take it.”

While the Cardinals were drawing 13 walks, the Royals were

getting only one, which led to arguments with home plate umpire

Angel Campos and the ejection of Royals manager Ned Yost and

catcher Matt Treanor in the seventh inning.

”You’ve got a young umpire back there and out of respect we try

not to say too much to him from the bench,” said Yost. ”The zone

was tight and Matt Treanor did a great job there. Nobody knew they

were arguing until he turned around and he was out of the

game.”

The Cardinals lost backup catcher Gerald Laird when he was hit

by a pitch from Louis Coleman (0-1) in the 10th inning and broke

the top of the index finger on his right hand.

”There was no getting out of the way of it,” said Laird, who

had already had X-rays taken. ”The doctor said it was broken.

Hopefully, it heals pretty quick.”

With the game tied 7-all, Tyler Green walked leading off the

10th and went to second when Mike Aviles made a poor throw to first

on Albert Pujols’ grounder for Kansas City’s second error. Coleman,

who started the inning, then hit Laird, loading the bases with no

outs and bringing Collins out of the bullpen.

Collins walked Rasmus on four pitches and then with one out

walked Molina, giving him his third RBI.

Yost was tight-lipped when asked why his pitchers had so much

trouble finding the strike zone.

”Timmy Collins had command issues. I can say that,” he

said.

The Royals got a run in the bottom of the 10th on Brayan Pena’s

RBI double off Fernando Salas, who worked the 10th for his seventh

save in seven opportunities. The winner was Jason Motte (2-1), who

pitched one inning.

Down 7-1 after five, the Royals fought back with homers by Alex

Gordon, Wilson Betemit and Jeff Francoeur and finally tied it at 7

on Betemit’s RBI single in the seventh.

Gordon homered off Brian Tallet leading off the seventh and

Betemit drove in Francoeur, who had been hit by Eduardo Sanchez’s

pitch and stolen second.

Pujols was 2 for 6 with two singles and has reached safely in

all 33 interleague games he’s played against Kansas City. But his

career-long home run drought stretched to 103 at-bats.

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said the win was tempered by

Laird’s injury.

”You never really have a completely happy day at the

ballpark,” he said. ”Great win like this, but to lose him, a key

part of the squad, there’s no celebrating.”

Miguel Batista relieved starter Jaime Garcia in the sixth after

Francoeur’s leadoff home run in the sixth made it 7-3. Batista gave

up a double to Butler and a two-run homer to Betemit that sliced

the lead to 7-5.

Molina doubled and scored in the third and singled in the

seventh and ninth.

After going errorless in the first three frames, the Royals had

tied their team record of 106 consecutive innings without an error,

rookie first baseman Eric Hosmer’s wild throw to third allowed

Molina to score after his two-run triple.

Gordon doubled home a run for Kansas City in the third. In the

fifth, Aviles was credited with an RBI single when Mitch Maier

scored after second baseman Green lost his high popup in the sun,

making it 7-2.

Butler greeted reliever Batista with a double and Betemit

brought the Royals to 7-5 with his second home run.

NOTES: Boston’s Kevin Youkilis was the last player to walk five

times in a game. Detroit gave him five free passes May 15, 2010,

according to STATS LLC. … A wide area of Eastern Kansas and

Western Missouri, including Kansas City, was under a tornado watch

when the game began. … When Aviles doubled in the first inning,

it was just the second time in their last 29 hits the Royals had

gone for extra bases. … The team record of 106 consecutive

innings without an error was set from May 30-June 13, 1997. … The

day before, the Royals had tied their record with 11 straight games

without an error.