AL Central

Middle Inning Rallies Lift St. Louis Cardinals to Another I-70 Series Victory over Kansas City Royals

St. Louis Cardinals' Jedd Gyorko (3) celebrates with Dexter Fowler (25) after hitting a three-run home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals, Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Bats continued to boom in the I-70 series, as the St. Louis Cardinals topped the Kansas City Royals by a score of 10-3 on Tuesday.

St. Louis moved above .500 for the first time since June 1 with the victory, scoring double-digit runs for the third straight game and moving within 2.5 games of the NL Central lead. Kansas City finished 2-4 in the homestand, holding a tie for the final AL Wild Card spot.

Yadier Molina broke the scoring open with his 13th home run in the fourth inning, surpassing his home run total from each of the previous four seasons. The Royals responded in the bottom half of the frame with a three-run double from Cheslor Cuthbert.

The Cardinals regained momentum quickly, building up their second six-run inning in as many nights. Randal Grichuk initiated the rally with a solo home run, highlighted by a three-run blast from Jedd Gyorko.

“It was a 2-2 count, but it was more of a battle to try to put it into play,” Gyorko said after picking up his first home run since July 14. “I haven’t had that good of contact in awhile, and I think I busted it open a little bit.”

Kansas City starter Jason Vargas was unable to make it through the rally, giving up six earned runs, eights hits and three walks over 4.2 innings.

“Some weird things happened that inning, but it was just a frustrating one to let get away,” Vargas said. “We just need to get back to doing some fundamental things and getting some momentum going in our direction.”

Michael Wacha worked around fourth inning woes to pick up his ninth win of the season, striking out five Royals hitters in his third quality start since All-Star break.

“I felt like I had pretty good fastball command and I was able to keep them off balance with the curveball,” Wacha said. “Everything felt good out there, and it was a lot of fun.”

Grichuk and Matt Carpenter provided three more insurance runs in the seventh inning after Wacha finished. Both contributed to seven multi-hit efforts on Tuesday between the two teams.

St. Louis extended its all-time lead in the I-70 Series to 53-39. The in-state rivals move to Busch Stadium for the next two games with Mike Leake scheduled to take the mound against Trevor Cahill on Wednesday.

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