Kendrys Morales provided the offense and Kansas City’s pitching staff once against shut down the opposition as the Royals opened a three-game interleague series against the St. Louis Cardinals with a 5-0 victory.
The success of the Show-Me State rivals provided more energy to an already- anticipated weekend set, with both sides leading their respective league in winning percentage coming in.
The Royals earned bragging rights in the opener as they continued the best start in franchise history thanks to another shutout and Morales homering twice and driving in all five runs. Chris Young (4-0) scattered six hits and two walks over six scoreless innings, and three relievers closed out the club’s third shutout during its four-game winning streak.
The Cardinals, who were also blanked by the Mets on Thursday, had plenty of chances at the plate but went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position and stranded 13 baserunners.
Lance Lynn (3-4) was visited on the mound by a trainer in the first inning but stayed in the game and threw six frames. He was charged with all five runs on 10 hits.
Morales took advantage of Lynn’s early struggles and hammered a pitch over the right-field wall with two on in the first. He reached the bleachers again in the third with one aboard. Both gopher balls were middle-in fastballs.
Young stranded runners in each of the first five innings, Carlos Villanueva pitched a scoreless seventh, and Ryan Madson survived a bases-loaded jam in the eighth. Jason Heyward sent a sharp grounder up the middle with the bags full, and Omar Infante made a sliding grab to end the inning. Earlier in the eighth, Alcides Escobar backhanded a ball in the hole and threw a no-look toss from his stomach for another force out.
Jason Frasor stranded a pair in scoring position in the ninth to complete the shutout.