Game Report: Cardinals 8, Royals 6 

By Rob Rains

The Cardinals did not need an appearance by the rally cat to beat the Royals again on Thursday night. They did, however, need another grand slam – and they got it, this time from Dexter Fowler.

Fowler’s blast in the seventh inning capped the Cardinals’ comeback from a 3-0 deficit – something they also did Wednesday night - and gave them their sixth consecutive win, equaling the longest streak of the season.

They now trail the Cubs, who did not play on Thursday, by one game in the NL Central.
Fowler also drove in the first run in the sixth with a double. His five RBIs, which came in his second game batting cleanup, were a career high.

Following the grand slam from Yadier Molina on Wednesday night, this was the first time the Cardinals hit grand slams on consecutive days since Jack Westbrook and Albert Pujols did it on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, 2011.

In the last five games, the Cardinals scored at least eight runs in each game – and according to researcher Tom Orf, it’s the first time the had a five-game winning streak with eight or more runs in each game since 1925.

There was a scary moment in the third inning when Lance Lynn was hit in the head by a line drive off the bat of Lorenzo Cain, but Lynn was able to stay in the game.

Here is how the game broke down:


At the plate
: The Cardinals tied the game with a three-run sixth. One run scored on Fowler’s double, another on a sacrifice fly from Kolten Wong and one on a throwing error by Royals pitcher Peter Moylan … Until the sixth, the Cardinals had been shut out on two hits by Jason Hammel … In the seventh, Matt Carpenter and Tommy Pham singled before Paul DeJong walked to load the bases and set the stage for Fowler, who hit the first pitch for the third grand slam of his career … the Cardinals’ final run in the eighth came on an RBI double from DeJong.

On the mound: Lynn allowed three runs, two earned, over his six innings, getting help from two double plays and Molina throwing out one runner trying to steal and picking another off second … Tyler Lyons got the win after retiring the only two hitters he faced in the seventh. He has not allowed a run in his last 12 appearances … Brett Cecil gave up two runs and Seung Hwan Oh one in the eighth, when Brandon Moss just missed a grand slam, cutting the lead to 7-6, before Trevor Rosenthal relieved and stranded the tying run at second as Cain flew out to the warning track. Rosenthal gave up a hit with two outs in the ninth before closing out the win.

Key stat: The four wins over the Royals improved the Cardinals’ inter-league record this year to 7-8. They have five games against AL opponents remaining, two in Boston next week and three at home against Tampa Bay later this month.

Worth noting: One of only a few members of the 1987 Cardinals who will not be attending the team’s reunion this weekend at Busch Stadium is Jose Oquendo. A team spokesman did not provide a reason for Oquendo’s absence … Playing his first game in Memphis Thursday night since being optioned on Monday, Stephen Piscotty homered in his first at-bat. …In the roster move corresponding with Piscotty’s demotion, Adolis Garcia was sent back from Memphis to Springfield … Third baseman Evan Mendoza, the Cardinals’ 11th round pick in this year’s draft, was promoted from State College to Peoria. He had been the leading hitter in the New York-Penn League with a .370 average, and also led the league in RBIs and runs.

Looking ahead:
The Braves make their only visit of the season to St. Louis this weekend. Adam Wainwright will pitch the opener Friday night against Mike Foltynewicz.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains