ST. LOUIS (PAR Broadcast Sports) — Paul DeJong cracked a two-run homer in the 5th inning to help lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 6-3 win over the cross-state rival Kansas City Royals on Wednesday afternoon at Busch Stadium. The game was the third exhibition game of the week for the Royals, who open the 2020 season on Friday night at Cleveland, and the only exhibition game of summer camp for the Cardinals, who welcome Pittsburgh into town this weekend to open the 60-game season.
DeJong had a three-RBI day for St. Louis, as the Cardinals took advantage of continued wildness from a Royals pitching staff that sent ten options to the mound and walked a total of nine batters. Rookie outfielder Tyler O’Neill, expected to get the start in left field in his major league debut on Friday night, had a two-run double in the Cardinals second inning. Veteran Yadier Molina had a pair of singles for St. Louis, with infielder Max Schrock taking advantage of late-game playing opportunities to go 2 for 2 with a triple and a run scored.
Kyle Zimmer started for KC and went the first inning, allowing just one hit in a scoreless frame. Veteran right-hander Miles Mikolas allowed two earned runs on five hits with a walk and four strikeouts in four innings in the start for the Cardinals. Carlos Martinez went the next four innings, giving up just one run on two hits with three strikeouts. Closer Kwang Hyun-Kim struck out the side in the ninth.
For the Cardinals opener against Pittsburgh on Friday night at Busch Stadium, Jack Flaherty will oppose Joe Musgrove.
For the Royals, the lack of command from the pitching staff is a major concern heading into Cleveland, with the nine walks allowed following a 15-run outburst by Houston on Tuesday afternoon. Josh Staumont walked three batters, with Foster Griffin, Ronald Balanos, and Scott Barlow each walking two.
Catcher Salvador Perez hammered a 416-foot homer for a Royals run off of Mikolas, the All-Star’s second long ball of the week. Outfielder Bubba Starling added his second homer of the week, taking Martinez deep in the seventh inning.
Other exhibition finals from across Major League Baseball were:
Cleveland 5, Pittsburgh 3
Cincinnati 2, Detroit 1
Chicago Cubs 4, Minnesota 3
Colorado 7, Texas 3
Milwaukee 5, Chicago White Sox 3
San Diego 5, L.A. Angels 4
Miami 6, Atlanta 2
Toronto at Boston – PP Rain
Photo credit – Jeff Curry / USA Today Sports / St. Louis, MO