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Royals, Cardinals continue struggles with home setbacks

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Johan Oviedo pitched a stellar two-hitter for his first complete game in his 53rd major league start, leading the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 5-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals. Ke’Bryan Hayes contributed significantly with four hits, and Zack Greinke continued his challenging season, losing his ninth consecutive decision.

Oviedo, a 26-year-old right-hander, delivered an exceptional performance, striking out five batters and issuing two walks while throwing a career-high 112 pitches. His complete game marked just the 28th instance in the entire major league season, and it was a notable achievement for Oviedo, who had never before pitched an out in the eighth inning, let alone the ninth.

Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton praised Oviedo’s performance and highlighted his ability to execute under pressure. The catcher, Endy Rodríguez, played a significant role in persuading the coaching staff to allow Oviedo to finish the game.

The Pirates’ win in Kansas City was their first since August 20, 2015. On the other side, the Royals struggled offensively, failing to advance a runner past first base and getting blanked for the 14th time this season. Greinke, the Royals’ pitcher, gave up two runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings, continuing his challenging season as he dropped to 1-13.

Ke’Bryan Hayes was a standout for the Pirates, contributing with four hits, including an RBI double in the third inning. His strong performances have contributed to his impressive .438 batting average since August 9.

Pittsburgh’s Alfonso Rivas also had a run-scoring double in the game, solidifying the Pirates’ lead. The Royals’ Brady Singer is set to miss his next start due to signs of arm fatigue.

In St. Louis, behind an impressive performance by Blake Snell, who pitched seven shutout innings with nine strikeouts, and a strong offensive display by Garrett Cooper, the San Diego Padres secured a 4-1 victory over the struggling St. Louis Cardinals. This win was crucial for the Padres, who had been swept in a three-game series by the Milwaukee Brewers.

Snell’s strong outing was a welcome sight for the Padres after their recent struggles. “It’s good. I like the way I finished,” Snell said. “It’s a win. It feels good. We’ve just got to put it together.” San Diego manager Bob Melvin praised Snell’s ability to handle pressure and generate strikeouts.

On the other hand, the St. Louis Cardinals faced their tenth loss in twelve games. The Cardinals’ offense continued to struggle, having been outscored 26-4 in their last four losses.

Snell’s counterpart, veteran pitcher Adam Wainwright, allowed only one run on eight hits in six innings but fell to 3-10 for the season. Wainwright, who turns 42 soon, has been chasing his 199th career victory since June 17. Despite his strong performance, the Cardinals’ offensive struggles kept him from securing the win.

San Diego went ahead 1-0 in the sixth inning with a single by former Cardinal Matt Carpenter, scoring Fernando Tatis Jr. The Cardinals loaded the bases in the sixth, but Wainwright’s escape limited the damage.

The Padres extended their lead in the seventh, adding another run off Andre Pallante. Garrett Cooper’s single brought in Tatis for a 2-0 lead. Cooper further contributed with a two-run single in the ninth inning, solidifying the Padres’ victory.

St. Louis managed to score only one run, a solo home run by Paul Goldschmidt in the eighth inning. The Padres’ bullpen sealed the victory, with Josh Hader earning his 28th save.

The Cardinals continue to struggle, while the Padres hope to build on their win and regain their momentum.

The MLB scoreboard from Monday, August 28, 2023: 

Philadelphia 6, LA Angels 4

Toronto 6, Washington 3

Texas 4, NY Mets 3

NY Yankees 4, Detroit 1

Baltimore 9, Chicago White Sox 0

Houston 13, Boston 5

Minnesota 10, Cleveland 6

Seattle 7, Oakland 0

Pittsburgh 5, Kansas City 0

San Diego 4, St. Louis 1

Milwaukee 6, Chicago Cubs 2

Atlanta 14, Colorado 4

San Francisco 4, Cincinnati 1

LA Dodgers 7, Arizona 4