Royals Beat Cardinals 5-3 in Extras, Win Series
ST. LOUIS — The I-70 series turned into a marathon rubber-match on Sunday afternoon, as the Kansas City Royals came from behind to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-3 in 15 innings on Father’s Day at Busch Stadium.
Designated hitter Billy Butler and second baseman Yuniesky Betancourt both came up with clutch home runs to send the game into extra innings, and ultimately propel the Royals (29-35, 18-15 away) to victory.
Two back to back solo home runs in the sixth inning, one from left fielder Matt Holliday and the other from first baseman Allen Craig, put the Cardinals (34-33, 17-16 home) up 2-1.
Up until the sixth, Royals starter Luis Mendoza (2-3, 4.69 ERA) was lights out. In 6 innings, Mendoza allowed two runs on six hits, striking out five and walking one. Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright (5-7, 4.46 ERA) gave up one run on five hits in 7 innings, fanning eight and walking three.
With his team down 2-1 with two outs in the top of the ninth, Royals pinch-hitter Billy Butler came to the plate and quickly found himself facing an 0-2 count. Butler then proceeded to blister closer Jason Motte’s third pitch to left field, a solo home run that tied the game 2-2.
Kansas City failed to take advantage with runners at first and third with no outs in the 11th. They opted to bunt with shortstop Alcides Escobar at the plate, and right fielder Jeff Francoeur was thrown out at home.
Reliever Tim Collins (4-1, 2.36 ERA) kept the Royals in the game with a brilliant performance. Collins didn’t allow a single hit in 3 scoreless innings, striking out three and walking none in the 10th, 11th, and 12th frames.
The Royals took a 3-2 lead in the 14th on an RBI single by Betancourt, but the Cardinals answered with a game-tying RBI single by pinch-hitter Yadier Molina. It was closer Jonathan Broxton’s third blown save of the year.
In the 15th, Betancourt belted a two-run HR to left, giving the Royals a 5-3 lead. Broxton (1-1, 1.69 ERA) came back out and redeemed himself, striking out a pair in the bottom of the 15th en route to his first win of the season.
The Royals continue their road trip on Monday night for the first of a three-game set against the Houston Astros (27-39, 18-14 home) at Minute Maid Park.