Jorge Soler capped a six-run third inning with a three-run homer, as the Kansas City Royals trounced the St. Louis Cardinals 8-2 in the first game of a day-night doubleheader on Wednesday in St. Louis.
Brad Keller (3-5) gave up two runs on two hits over seven-plus innings. He walked four and struck out three. It was his best outing since throwing seven shutout innings on Opening Day against the White Sox, when he allowed just two hits with one walk and five strikeouts.
Keller had lost four straight decisions. He's struggled so far this season, especially with his control, leading the major leagues in walks (37) coming into Wednesday's game. But he also has been an innings-eater. He's gone at least five innings in all 11 starts.
Michael Wacha (3-2) took the loss in his second shortest outing of the season. He gave up seven runs (six earned) on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. He walked three and struck out four.
The Royals got a run off Wacha in the second inning. Alex Gordon hit a sinking line-drive single to right that skipped past Dexter Fowler, allowing Gordon to reach third. He scored on Hunter Dozier's sacrifice fly to deep center.
Cam Gallagher led off the third with a bloop single. Keller, in his first at-bat of the season, bunted Gallagher to second. Whit Merrifield doubled down the left field line, scoring Gallagher.
Following a single by Nicky Lopez that put runners on the corners, Adalberto Mondesi singled, scoring Merrifield for a 3-0 lead. When Fowler tried to get Lopez at third, Mondesi advanced to second. Gordon was walked intentionally, and Dozier followed with his second sac fly. Soler then launched a 411-foot home run off the second deck in left.
The six-run inning matched the season high for the Royals. The seven runs given up by Wacha matched his season high.
The Royals tacked on a run in the seventh. Lopez walked and scored on Mondesi's MLB-leading seventh triple.
The Cards scored two runs in the eighth on a double by Marcell Ozuna to avoid the shutout.
--Field Level Media