Wednesday’s Game Report: Royals 8, Cardinals 2 (game one)

Wednesday’s Game Report: Royals 8, Cardinals 2 (game one)

By Rob Rains

Through seven innings on Wednesday, the Cardinals had more batters hit by a pitch (two) than they had hits (one) against a pitcher who had gone 0-4 in his previous five starts with a 6.91 ERA.

It’s been that kind of month.

The Cardinals finally scored two runs in the eighth, after Brad Keller had left the game, but still saw their record for May drop to 5-14 with the loss to the Royals in the first half of the split day-night doubleheader. The Cardinals fell back to .500 (24-24) for the first time since April 8, when they were 5-5.

Almost all of the damage against the Cardinals came in the third inning, when Michael Wacha gave up six runs, including a three-run homer, that turned a 1-0 game into a 7-0 advantage. It’s the sixth time this season the Cardinals have allowed six or more runs in an inning, the most in the majors.

“The reality is we are not getting it done,” said Manager Mike Shildt. “I’ve got to figure out something.”

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: The Cardinals’ only hit through the first seven innings was a two-out single by Matt Wieters in the second. Paul DeJong was hit by a pitch in the first and Harrison Bader was hit in the seventh. Bader came out of the game after the inning and Shildt said X-rays on his elbow were negative … In the eighth, Matt Carpenter drew a leadoff walk and Paul Goldschmidt singled (breaking a 0-of-14 streak) before both scored on a double by Marcell Ozuna, their only hit in five at-bats with a runner in scoring position … The Cardinals leadoff batter walked in each of the first three innings but never advanced past second base.

On the mound: Wacha allowed seven hits in 4 2/3 innings and one of the Royals’ seven runs off him was unearned because of an error by Dexter Fowler … Ryan Helsley made his first appearance since rejoining the team from Memphis and gave up one run in 1 2/3 innings, after Carpenter failed to catch a foul popup near the dugout which was ruled a no play … Giovanny Gallegos retired all five batters he faced and Tyler Webb worked a 1-2-3 ninth.

Key stat: Over his last seven starts, including Wednesday, Wacha has allowed 27 earned runs in 35 innings, an ERA of 6.94.

Worth noting: Alex Reyes, recovering from a broken little finger on his left hand, will start for Palm Beach on Thursday night at Port Charlotte. The Cardinals want to see how that game goes, and how Reyes recovers, before deciding when and where he will pitch next … The Cardinals brought outfielder Lane Thomas up from Memphis to serve as their 26th man for the doubleheader. He was eligible for the night game … This was the first doubleheader for the Cardinals against the Royals, and the first time they played a complete series (two games) in one day since they played the Padres in a doubleheader on Sept. 29, 1999 … One night after Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina went to the Blues’ playoff game, a group of several Blues players were at the game. The group included Pat Maroon, Joel Edmundson and Robby Fabbri.

Looking ahead: Wainwright will get the start in the night game on Wednesday night. The Cardinals have another day off coming on Thursday.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

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For the latest news and features in St. Louis Sports check out STLSportsPage.com. Rob Rains, Editor.