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Jun 5, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals left fielder Alex Gordon (4) catches a foul ball against the St. Louis Cardinals in the fourth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Royals Prevail with late Three-Run Rally

For the third straight game, the Kansas City Royals found themselves trailing the St. Louis Cardinals. For the 3rd straight night, the Royals pulled a late rally. This time their 3-run 6th inning carried them to a 3-2 win at Kauffman Stadium Thursday night.

In match-up of dominant young fireball pitchers, Yordano Ventura emerged as the victor over Michael Wacha. Ventura is now 3-5 on the year with a 3.41 ERA.

The victory pulls the Royals back to within 2 games under .500 at 29-31. Kansas City remains in 4th place, 4 games behind slumping Detroit in the American League Central.

On the Mound

Yordano Ventura made his comeback after missing a start with elbows problems. Ventura pitched 6.0 innings, allowing 7 hits, 2 walks, and 2 runs. Ventura had good velocity but recorded only 1 strikeout.

The recently-recalled Francisley Bueno relieved Ventura in the 7th with a clean inning and 1 strikeout.

Dominant set-up man Wade Davis pitched another clean inning in the 8th.

Greg Holland finished off the 9th with his American League leading 17th save despite giving up Oscar Taveras‘ infield single to leadoff the inning.

At the Plate

Overall, the Royals only managed 7 hits and 2 walks against Cardinal pitching, but bunched 2 doubles and 3 singles in the 6th inning to plate 3 runs.

No Royal had more than one hit on the evening, with Alex Gordon the only hitter to reach base twice going 1-2 with a walk.

Mike Moustakas and Omar Infante were the only starters to fail to get hits, though both were robbed by nice plays on hard liners in the infield.

Alcides Escobar and Nori Aoki led off the 6th inning with consecutive doubles to score the Royals first run.

Salvador Perez drove in the go-ahead run with a solid single that scored Eric Hosmer from 2nd base.

This and That

Alex Gordon had a whale of a defensive game on Thursday. He made a diving catch in left to open the game, and nailed Yadier Molina at second base while trying to stretch a single into a double to finish the 5th inning. He also made a nice running catch of a foul ball in the 4th.

Norichika Aoki continued his slapstick reel by getting hit in the head by Yadier Molina while attempting to throw the ball back to Michael Wacha. You can see the video here:

Video courtesy of MLB.com

Aoki did stay in the game to hit an RBI double in the 6th and score a run.

The Royals completed their annual Show-Me-State series with 3 wins in 4 games.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

Our nod goes to Alex Gordon for his three outstanding defensive plays, and his single to continue the game-winning rally in the 6th. Gordon’s recent power surge and his continued excellence in the field has made him the team’s most consistent player on the season.

The Cardinals

The Royals 6th inning rally made a hard-luck loser out of starter Michael Wacha. Wacha finished 6 innings, allowing 8 hits, 2 walks, and 3 runs. He held the Royals scoreless through 5 before their 6th inning breakthrough, and looked poised to win his 5th game of the season. Instead, his record fell to 4-4 with a 2.61 ERA on the season.

Up Next

The Yankees come to Kansas City for a three game series on Derek Jeter‘s farewell tour. The Royals will send Jeremy Guthrie (2-5, 4.00 ERA) to the mound against 24-year-old righty Chase Whitley (0-0, 2.37 ERA). Game time is 7:10 CST at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

Box

Cardinals Batting AB R H RBI BB SO BA OPS
Matt Carpenter 3B 4 0 1 1 0 0 .306 .785
Kolten Wong 2B 3 0 0 0 0 0 .258 .653
   Daniel Descalso 2B 1 0 0 0 0 1 .161 .431
Matt Holliday DH 3 0 1 0 1 0 .267 .745
Allen Craig 1B 4 0 1 0 0 0 .246 .682
Yadier Molina C 4 0 1 0 0 0 .299 .770
Oscar Taveras RF 4 0 1 0 0 0 .227 .626
   Randal Grichuk PR 0 0 0 0 0 0 .147 .430
Jhonny Peralta SS 4 0 0 0 0 2 .224 .714
Jon Jay LF 4 2 2 0 0 1 .295 .740
Peter Bourjos CF 3 0 1 1 1 1 .211 .636
Team Totals 34 2 8 2 2 5 .235 .601

2B: M Holliday (14, off Y Ventura).
3B: P Bourjos (3, off Y Ventura).
TB: P Bourjos 3; M Holliday 2; J Jay 2; Y Molina; O Taveras; M Carpenter; A Craig.
RBI: M Carpenter (21); P Bourjos (9).
2-out RBI: P Bourjos; M Carpenter.
Team LOB: 7.
With RISP: 1 for 8.
Fielding
DP: 2. O Taveras-J Peralta; A Craig.
Outfield Assists: O Taveras (M Moustakas at 2nd base).

Royals Batting AB R H RBI BB SO BA OPS
Nori Aoki RF 4 1 1 1 0 0 .259 .636
   Jarrod Dyson CF 0 0 0 0 0 0 .275 .638
Omar Infante 2B 4 0 0 0 0 0 .241 .642
Eric Hosmer 1B 4 1 1 1 0 0 .264 .662
Billy Butler DH 4 0 1 0 0 0 .251 .613
Alex Gordon LF 2 0 1 0 1 0 .284 .802
Salvador Perez C 3 0 1 1 0 1 .260 .719
Lorenzo Cain CF-RF 3 0 1 0 0 0 .319 .768
Mike Moustakas 3B 2 0 0 0 1 0 .148 .526
Alcides Escobar SS 2 1 1 0 0 0 .276 .707
Team Totals 28 3 7 3 2 1 .250 .657

2B: B Butler (10, off M Wacha); A Escobar (16, off M Wacha); N Aoki (9, off M Wacha).
SH: A Escobar (5, off C Martinez).
TB: A Escobar 2; B Butler 2; N Aoki 2; S Perez; A Gordon; E Hosmer; L Cain.
RBI: E Hosmer (25); N Aoki (13); S Perez (16).
2-out RBI: S Perez.
Team LOB: 4.
With RISP: 3 for 9.
Fielding
Outfield Assists: A Gordon (Y Molina at 2nd base).

Cardinals Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA Pit Str
Michael Wacha, L (4-4) 6 7 3 3 1 1 0 2.61 95 66
Carlos Martinez 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 4.41 19 11
Team Totals 8 7 3 3 2 1 0 3.38 114 77
Royals Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA Pit Str
Yordano Ventura, W (3-5) 6 7 2 2 2 1 0 3.41 91 55
Francisley Bueno, H (2) 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 4.50 12 9
Wade Davis, H (9) 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.32 9 6
Greg Holland, S (17) 1 1 0 0 0 3 0 1.52 18 11
Team Totals 9 8 2 2 2 5 0 2.00 130 81

Balks: None.
WP: G Holland (4).
HBP: None.
IBB: None.
Pickoffs: None.

Tags: Alex Gordon Kansas City Royals Norichika Aoki Yordano Ventura

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