Lineup changes and extra batting practice can help some teams end a slump. For the Kansas City Royals, a matchup with a National League team usually works.
Coming off another strong game at the plate, the Royals look to continue their success in interleague play as they continue their series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night.
Kansas City (25-40) is 25th in the majors with 267 runs, but has hit well against NL teams. The Royals improved to 5-2 in interleague play with an 8-1 win over St. Louis (27-34) on Tuesday.
Kansas City scored 17 runs in its rout over Philadelphia on Sunday, and the combined 25 runs over the last two games are its highest total in back-to-back contests since recording 32 in September 2004. The Royals are averaging 7.4 runs and batting .317 in interleague play.
“I think we’re feeling good at the plate,” said Royals rookie Alex Gordon, who went 3-for-4 to raise his average to a season-high .198. “It seems like when somebody gets us going, everybody starts following their lead.”
The Royals, last in the AL Central, now have a chance to win three straight games for the third time this season.
Teahen is batting .367 (11-for-30) with three home runs, a triple, four doubles and 10 RBIs in seven games against the Cardinals. He hit a solo home run in his only at-bat against Adam Wainwright (4-5, 5.19 ERA), who will take the mound for St. Louis.
Wainwright (4-5, 5.19 ERA) gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings as the Cardinals lost 5-1 to Cincinnati on Thursday night. The right-hander went 1-1 with a 2.33 ERA in his previous three outings.
Wainwright has one save, a 3.86 ERA and no record in three career relief appearances against Kansas City.
The Royals will counter with Odalis Perez (3-6, 5.68 ERA), who is 1-2 with a 7.31 ERA in his last three starts. The left-hander allowed three runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings as Kansas City lost 8-3 to Cleveland on Thursday.
Perez is 2-3 with an 8.57 ERA in six starts and three relief appearances against St. Louis. Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols has dominated Perez, going 11-for-17 (.647) with five home runs and two doubles.
Pujols is also batting .392 (31-for-79) with seven home runs, seven doubles and 20 RBIs in 19 lifetime games at Kansas City.
“I like to hit in any park,” Pujols told the Cardinals’ official Web site.
St. Louis will not have right field Preston Wilson in the lineup again this season. He underwent knee surgery on Tuesday and is out for the year.
Juan Encarnacion, who has taken Wilson’s spot in the starting lineup, singled in the eighth Tuesday to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. He is batting .318 (14-for-44) with four home runs, a triple, four doubles and eight RBIs during that span.
St. Louis, which had won eight of its previous nine games in Kansas City, dropped to 1-6 in interleague play. The reigning World Series champion has lost four of five overall.