In their previous series with the St. Louis Cardinals, the Kansas City Royals used some late inning magic to earn the sweep in St. Louis. Back in Kansas City, the Royals once again used that formula to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth, but were unable to complete the comeback as the Cardinals took a 5-2 victory in eleven innings.
With a matchup between Royals starter Jason Vargas and the Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright, runs were likely to be at a premium. That expectation certainly proved to be the case, especially in the early going.
St. Louis got on the board first in the top of the second. mark Ellis singled with one out, and after a strikeout, stole second. Matt Carpenter then singled to center, plating Ellis to give the Cardinals an early 1-0 lead.
That single run looked as though it may have held up, as Wainwright was carving through the Royals lineup. An Alex Gordon walk in the second provided the Royals their only baserunner through the first five innings, as Wainwright was entering the no-hitter alert zone. While the no-hitter ended when Alcides Escobar singled to lead off the sixth, Wainwright was still comfortably in control, stifling the Royals offense.
Matt Carpenter was once again involved in the scoring for the Cardinals in the top of the seventh. Carpenter led off the seventh with a double against Vargas, and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. Matt Holiday followed with a groundout to short, plating Carpenter to give the Cardinals a 2-0 lead.
That aforementioned late inning magic came through in the bottom of the ninth. Wainwright, still in line for the shutout, came out to start the inning. He struck out Eric Hosmer, who ended up reaching on a wild pitch as the third strike got away. Billy Butler followed with a base hit, putting runners on first and second and knocking Wainwright from the game. Trevor Rosenthal came in and, as he did the previous night, struggled. A walk to Gordon loaded the bases, and the Royals finally got on the board when Salvador Perez grounded into a force out. Lorenzo Cain followed with a base hit on the first pitch he saw from Rosenthal, plating pinch runner Pedro Ciriaco to tie the game at 2-2.
The game remained tied until the top of the eleventh inning. Facing Kelvin Herrera, the Cardinals offense came back to life. With one out, Peter Bourjos walked, bringing Matt Carpenter to the plate once again. As he had been all night, Carpenter proved once again to be a thorn in the Royals side, doubling to right center to plate Bourjos and give the Cardinals the lead once again. After a base hit moved Carpenter to third, Tim Collins was summoned from the bullpen to quell the rally. Instead, he plunked Matt Holliday on a 2-0 count to load the bases and gave up a two run single to Allen Craig to give the Cardinals a 5-2 lead. Pat Neshek closed out the game for his first save, giving the Cardinals the victory.
Sam Freeman picked up the win for the Cardinals, working a perfect tenth. Herrera took the loss, being charged with three runs on a walk and two hits while recording only one out.
Escobar was the only member of the Royals to record more than one hit, going 2-4 with a double. Hosmer was 0-5 with four strikeouts in the loss.