Saturday’s Game Report: Cardinals 5, Royals 4

Saturday’s Game Report: Cardinals 5, Royals 4

By Rob Rains

The Cardinals’ bullpen wobbled but didn’t fall down on Saturday night.

The Royals scored one run in the eighth and one in the ninth before Nolan Arenado started a game-ending double play that saved the win over the Royals in Kansas City.

Relievers Giovanny Gallegos and JoJo Romero allowed a combined six hits in the final two innings but stranded three runners to finish off a split of the two-game series.

Here is how Saturday night’s game broke down:

At the plate: Tommy Edman, moved up to seventh in the batting order, hit a pair of home runs to lead the offense. He hit a two-run shot in the second inning, then added a solo shot in the eighth that turned out to be the difference in the game … It was the third two-homer game of Edman’s career … The Cardinals also got an RBI double from Arenado, one of his three hits and an RBI single by Willson Contreras.

On the mound: Steven Matz turned in another solid start, allowing two runs over six innings. Three of the four hits he allowed came to consecutive batters with two outs in the third inning, a single, home run and double. He then retired the next nine batters before a two-out single in the sixth … In the eighth, Gallegos allowed three hits and a run, retiring only one batter, before Romero got two ground outs to strand runners on second and third. Romero stayed in for the ninth and gave up three singles and a run before Arenado started the game-ending double play.

Key stat: The Cardinals won their first one-run game since July 9, the final game before the All-Star break. They had lost their last four one-run games, and are now 10-23 this season in games decided by one run.

Worth noting: Edman’s last five hits over the last three games have all gone for extra bases – a home run on Thursday night in Tampa, two doubles on Friday night and the two homers on Saturday night … Edman became the ninth Cardinal to reach double digits in home runs this season and the team could get two more with Andrew Knizner sitting at nine homers and Alec Burleson at eight … The Cardinals called up the minor-league leader in home runs, Luken Baker, on Saturday to replace Dylan Carlson on the roster. Carlson went on the 10-day IL because of an oblique strain. Baker hit his 33rd homer for Memphis on Friday night.

Looking ahead: The Cardinals have Sunday off, their first scheduled day off on a Sunday since 1995, because of a schedule quirk relating to only playing four games, two at home and two on the road, with the Royals, who wanted their home games to be on a weekend. The Cardinals will be back home on Monday night to begin a three-game series against Oakland.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

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