KANSAS CITY — The Cardinals elected to pitch around Kansas City cleanup hitter Jorge Soler with runners at first and third, two outs and a tie game in the sixth inning Monday night at Kauffman Stadium. Adam Wainwright walked Soler on four pitches to load the bases but Maikel Franco bounced a single to the left of first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and the two runners who scored gave the Royals a two-run lead which they expanded into a 4-1 victory.
The Cardinals’ winning streak of four, all achieved over the weekend in Pittsburgh, was snapped but the Cardinals kept second place by percentage points over the Cincinnati Reds, who beat Milwaukee. The Cardinals are 26-25 while the Reds are 28-27.
Wainwright, who had taken a 5-1 mark this year and 4-1 all-time at Kauffman into the game, was lifted in the sixth after throwing 31 pitches in the inning. He struck out seven for the night.
When Soler came to bat against Giovanny Gallegos with a man at second and one out in the eighth, the Cardinals chose to work to Soler, who doubled home the final run.
In their six wins out of 10 previous games on the trip, the Cardinals had rallied to win all of them. But, unlike their showing against the woeful Pirates’ bullpen, the Cardinals did nothing with the Royals’ relief corps over the final 5 1/3 innings, amassing just two hits.
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