Yadier Molina homered and drove in four runs, while batting in the No. 2 spot for just the third time in his career as the Cardinals beat the Royals 6-3, Monday at Kauffman Stadium for the first of four games between our home state teams.  Molina hit a two-run homer in the first inning and doubled home a run in the third before a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning with the bases loaded.

We expected this to be a pitcher’s duel between both clubs’ aces, but that was not the case. Adam Wainwright (7-3) struck out five and didn’t walk anybody, and went eight innings. However, he allowed 12 hits, most since Sept. 14, 2010. Wainwright had only given up 12 hits over 22.1 innings in his last three starts.

James Shields didn’t fare well. The Royals ace gave up nine hits and season highs of six runs and five walks over six innings while losing his fourth straight start.

The Royals have dropped six in a row to fall six behind in the division and back to their usual spot near the bottom of the standings. They lead last place Minnesota by just a game.  The Cardinals improve to 19-9 on the road and maintain their 1.5 game lead over Cincinnati.