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Royals capitalize on Pujols error to edge Cardinals

Jun 18, 2011 - 6:55 AM St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Mike Moustakas scored on an Albert Pujols fielding error in the eighth inning, as Kansas City topped St. Louis, 5-4, in the opener of a three-game set at Busch Stadium.

Moustakas walked leading off the eighth, advanced to second on a Matt Treanor sacrifice bunt. After Chris Getz lined out, Alcides Escobar grounded a ball toward Pujols at first, but the ball went under his glove and rolled into right field.

Alex Gordon slapped a two-RBI single and Jeff Francoeur picked up a run- scoring base hit for the Royals, who blew a 3-0 lead but managed to snap a two-game skid.

Lance Berkman had a three-run double for St. Louis, losers of seven in a row.

Chris Carpenter (1-7) pitched eight innings in defeat, giving up five runs -- four earned -- on 10 hits. He had seven strikeouts, but has gone 0-5 over his last seven appearances.

"I don't know what the deal is," Carpenter said. "I felt like I had good stuff and made pretty good pitches, they got some runs and some hits and we lost."

Blake Wood (3-0) tossed a scoreless seventh for the Royals to pick up the victory. Joakim Soria pitched the ninth to earn his 11th save of the season.

St. Louis brought Pujols to the plate with one out in the bottom of the ninth, with a chance to tie or win the game after Jon Jay singled, but he grounded a ball to third base. Moustakas threw to second for the force out to end the game.

Kansas City used three singles by Melky Cabrera, Eric Hosmer and Francoeur to plate a run in the first inning.

The Royals put runners on second and third with only one out in the second inning on singles by Getz and Escobar. Both men scored on a bloop single to left by Gordon.

The Cardinals rallied for four runs in the third to take the lead. Two walks and a single from Jay loaded the bases for Matt Holliday, who was plunked by a Felipe Paulino pitch to gift the Cardinals their first run. The bags remained loaded for Berkman, who has six career grand slams, but he settled for a three run double down the line in right. Tyler Greene struck out swinging to end the inning, leaving the bases full again.

"He totally lost it, he just lost it," Royals manager Ned Yost said of his starting pitcher. "He went and got two quick outs and the key was the walk to [Skip] Schumaker. Those guys at the top of that order, you've gotta make them swing the bats."

The Royals came right back in the fourth. With runners at the corners, Paulino sent a bunt in front of the plate. Catcher Tony Cruz elected to go for the force-out at second. Once Cruz let the ball go, Getz broke for the plate and beat the return throw home from shortstop Greene.

The Royals put two runners on in the seventh with one out on singles by Cabrera and pinch-hitter Mitch Maier. Carpenter escaped trouble by striking out Hosmer and Francoeur.

Game Notes

Tony La Russa managed his 2,500th game in a St. Louis Cardinals uniform...St. Louis leads the all-time series against KC, 36-28...The season series between the Missouri rivals stands knotted at two games apiece...Paulino tossed six innings, giving up five hits...Carpenter threw 124 pitches.