KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Khalil Greene hit a late three-run homer, Albert Pujols hit a two-run shot and Chris Carpenter outpitched Brian Bannister to give the St. Louis Cardinals a 7-1 win over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday.
St. Louis opened the three-game series between the instate rivals Friday night by pounding out 14 hits in a 10-5 win.
Pujols was a key factor in the first win and had even bigger role in this one, hitting his 24th homer off Bannister (5-4) to put the Cardinals up 3-0 in the sixth inning. Greene sealed it in the ninth, lifting a shot just over the wall in left
That was more than enough the way Carpenter (5-1) pitched.
Coming off his first loss of the season, Carpenter was at his what's-he-going-throw best, hitting the corners with a low 90s mph fastball and buckling the Royals' knees with a chin-to-ankles curveball.
Kansas City hit few hard balls of him, spending most of the game dribbling grounders into foul territory.
Carpenter worked out of a few jams, most notably in the third inning, when he got two weak groundouts and a strikeout to strand Mark Teahen at third after a leadoff triple. Mitch Maier's two-out double in the eighth chased Carpenter, who allowed a run on three hits and struck out six in 7 2-3 innings.
Kansas City cut the lead to 3-1 on pinch-hitter Willie Bloomquist's run-scoring single with two outs in the eighth. Yadier Molina hit an RBI single off Kyle Farnsworth in the St. Louis ninth and Greene made it a six-run game with his shot off John Bale.
Ryan Franklin got four outs for his 17th save in 18 chances.
Another sellout crowd showed up to watch Kansas City's turn to host the Interstate 70 rivalry, though it looked more like a Cardinals home game with all the red in the stands.
Pujols, who attended high school in the area, gave them plenty to cheer about. Of course, he always does against Kansas City. The two-time NL MVP has a career batting average of .385 against the Royals, with 12 homers and 44 RBIs in 41 games.
Pujols hurt Kansas City on Friday night with a two-run single and an intentional walk that set up Ryan Ludwick's first career grand slam. After just missing a homer to center in the first inning, Pujols made sure in the sixth, lining a no-doubt, two-run shot just short of the fountains in left-center off Bannister.
The crowd roared in approval, which Pujols acknowledged with a couple of waves as he made his way to the dugout.
If not for Pujols, Bannister might have ended up with yet another daytime win.
The right-hander, who's 15-5 in 27 career day games, was sharp for the third straight start, allowing three runs — two earned — and six hits in eight innings. It wasn't quite good enough against Carpenter, leading to Kansas City's fourth straight loss.
NOTES: Former Cardinals OF Larry Walker was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Marys, Ontario, on Saturday. ... Teahen's triple ended an 0-for-11 streak.
by the associated press