ST. LOUIS— In a makeup game featuring teams with the two best records in baseball, the Cardinals held on for a 4-3 win over the Royals on Thursday night behind a pair of two-run homers and a great escape by closer Trevor Rosenthal.
Randal Grichuk tied the game with his second-inning blast, and Matt Carpenter followed with a homer in the third to stake the Cards to a two-run lead that held until the ninth. Rosenthal allowed the Royals to get one of those runs back with consecutive hits to lead off the inning before he nailed down his 30th save with three straight outs as the potential tying run loomed at third.
“Nobody is enjoying it in the middle of it, but when you see guys somehow figure out how to get out of it, that’s impressive,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “Once again, not how you design it when you get a two-run lead into the ninth, but a great job of figuring out how to win it.”
After allowing a pair of first-inning runs, Cardinals starter John Lackey shut the Royals out over the rest of his seven-inning start to put his ERA in 10 home starts at 1.97. Royals starter Chris Young lasted just three innings and allowed all four runs.
Kansas City interrupted a six-game homestand to take the quick jaunt to the eastern part of the state and play a game that had been washed out on June 14. Both teams donned throwback uniforms to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the I-70 World Series.