Maikel Franco hit a go-ahead single off Adam Wainwright with two outs in the sixth inning, and the Kansas City bullpen shut down the St. Louis Cardinals from the fourth inning on, allowing the Royals to rally for a 4-1 victory on Monday night.
Wainwright allowed three runs on six hits and two walks over 5-2/3 innings.
The Cardinals fell 4-1/2 games back of the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central and, more importantly, into a tie with Cincinnati for the division’s second guaranteed playoff spot. The Reds beat the Brewers.
Alex Gordon and Jorge Soler also drove in runs for the Royals.
The Cardinals had won four straight games.
Carlos Hernandez allowed one run over 3-2/3 innings before giving way to Jake Newberry, Scott Barlow, Josh Staumont (2-1) and Jesse Hahn. They combined to allow one hit – a two-out single by Paul Goldschmidt – without a walk over the next 4 1/3 innings.
Greg Holland worked around a leadoff single in the ninth for his sixth save.
Matt Carpenter homered for the Redbirds.
Game two of the series is Tuesday night at the K. The Royals are scheduled to start Brady Singer (3-4, 4.14 ERA). Austin Gomber (0-1, 2.37) is scheduled to take the mound for St. Louis. Pregame begins at 6:30, with game time at 7:05. You can hear the broadcast from the Royals’ Radio Network on KMMO FM 102.9.