Cardinals capitalize on Royals’ ninth-inning collapse
ST. LOUIS – Kolten Wong drew a bases-loaded walk to cap off a four-run rally in the ninth inning that lifted the St. Louis Cardinals over the Kansas City Royals 6-5 on Wednesday night.
Tyler O'Neill tied the game at 5 with a two-out, two-run single with the bases loaded off the glove of third baseman Maikel Franco.
Wong coaxed a five-pitch walk off Randy Rosario (0-1), the Royals’ eighth pitcher of the night.
"Amazing at-bats by everybody," Wong said. "A true team win."
Alex Reyes (1-0) got the victory.
Ryan McBroom and Cam Gallagher homered for Kansas City, which has lost 13 of its last 17 to its cross-state rival.
McBroom’s pinch-hit solo home run in the eighth inning put the Royals ahead 3-2. Whit Merrifield, who had three hits, hit a two-run double off Tyler O’Neill’s glove in the top of the ninth to extend the lead to 5-3.
"This was a tough one," Royals manager Mike Matheny said. "We've been extremely good about being able to put these away."
Kansas City starter Jakob Junis gave up two runs and four hits over 3 2/3 innings in his first start since Aug. 7. He struck out six and walked one.
Junis had been slowed by back spasms and came off the 10-day injury list prior to the contest.
St. Louis outfielder Dexter Fowler and pitcher Jack Flaherty opted to sit out the game in solidarity with other players around the league in protest of the shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Jacob Blake, a Black man, was shot multiple times by police Sunday. Three major league games were postponed Wednesday in decisions driven by players.
Fowler was originally in the starting lineup, but decided not to play right before the game. Team management issued a statement in support of both players.
"It doesn't matter what color your skin is, we're going to back you up regardless," Wong said. "In the end this is bigger than baseball. A lot of things are happening now. It's not pretty. We love those guys, we have their backs."
St. Louis manager Mike Shildt said the entire team was behind the pair.
"The group decided to play," Shildt said. "(But) we support (Fowler) and Jack. I will stand behind anything this clubhouse decides."
Shildt said he talked to the two players and they indicated they will return for Thursday's game.
Dylan Carlson tied it at 2 with an RBI double in the fourth. He also added a key hit in the ninth inning.
St. Louis starter Dakota Hudson allowed two runs on three hits over six innings. He retired the last 10 batters he faced.
Royals: Sent RHP Chance Adams to their alternate camp to make room for Junis.
Cardinals: RHP Carlos Martinez will pitch to teammates at the Cardinals alternate site in Springfield, Missouri on Friday. He has missed the last 15 games.
Royals: LHP Danny Duffy (2-2, 3.99) will face Chicago White Sox RHP Reynaldo Lopez (0-1, 13.50) in the first of a three-game series on Friday in Chicago. Duffy was pushed back a couple days after suffering left elbow fatigue in his last start against Minnesota.
Cardinals: LHP Kwang Hyun Kim (1-0, 1.69) will start against Pittsburgh RHP Chad Kuhl (1-1, 2.84) in the first game of a doubleheader in St. Louis. RHP Johan Oviedo (0-0, 3.60) will start the second game for St. Louis. Pittsburgh has yet to name a starter.