Salvador Perez drove in the winning run in the sixth inning to help the Kansas City Royals to a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in the finale of a four-game, home-and-home set Thursday at Kauffman Stadium.
Eric Hosmer and Norichika Aoki each drove in a run, while Yordano Ventura (3-5) snapped a four-start losing streak after giving up two runs on seven hits over six innings for the Royals, who took three of four in the set.
“You’ll take a split in a series, but you don’t pick up ground when you’re taking splits,” said Royals manager Ned Yost. “Today was a really big game for us, to take three out of four against a team like St. Louis is big for us.”
Matt Carpenter and Peter Bourjos each had an RBI for the Cardinals, who have dropped seven of their last nine games. Michael Wacha (4-4) allowed three runs on seven hits over six innings.
“I think that we all know that we’re not playing up to our potential,” said Wacha. “I think that we just keep on grinding, coming to the ball park every day and work on getting better, the results will change for sure.”
The Cardinals got on the board in the second inning as Jon Jay singled with two outs and Bourjos followed with a triple to center for a 1-0 lead.
In the fourth, Jay singled and Bourjos walked before Carpenter punched a two-out single to center for a 2-0 game.
The Royals left men on second and third in the fifth, but went on top in the sixth. Back-to-back doubles from Alcides Escobar and Aoki to start the frame scored one run. Two batters later, Hosmer punched a single to tie the game. After Alex Gordon singled, Perez singled for a 3-2 lead.
Francisley Bueno pitched a 1-2-3 seventh, while Wade Davis did the same in the eighth.
Greg Holland gave up a leadoff single to Oscar Taveras and pinch-runner Randal Grichuk moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. Holland, though, struck out the next three batters for his 17th save of the season.