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Royals 4, Cardinals 2

The SportsXchange

ST. LOUIS -- Kansas City finally found a way to break its eight-game losing streak Thursday night and early Friday morning: Hit for about five hours in the top of the ninth inning.

Before and after a rain delay of four hours and 32 minutes, the Royals scored three runs to overcome a deficit and notch a waterlogged 4-2 win over St. Louis.

Eric Hosmer's bases-loaded, two-run double snapped a tie that Jeff Francoeur created with a leadoff homer, giving Kansas City (22-29) just its fifth win in 23 games.

Louis Coleman (1-0) pitched 1 1/3 innings for the win, and Greg Holland earned his eighth save as the Royals avoided being swept in the four-game I-70 series between Missouri rivals. The game ended at 3:14 a.m., the latest conclusion to a game in Busch Stadium history.

The result spoiled another dominant debut for another Cardinal rookie pitcher. Highly touted Michael Wacha allowed just two hits and one run over seven efficient innings, fanning six and walking none.

He was in line to become the fourth St. Louis rookie to earn his first big league win this month. Instead, Mitchell Boggs (0-3) and Victor Marte coughed up the lead in a marathon ninth.

With closer Edward Mujica unavailable after saving four consecutive games and setup man Trevor Rosenthal apparently down as well, Boggs got the call after Seth Maness picked up the last out of the eighth.

Boggs' second pitch wound up in the left field seats as Francoeur belted his first homer since April 10. Boggs then walked Alex Gordon and was pulled for Marte as a near-capacity crowd booed lustily.

Marte then hit Alcides Escobar and committed a throwing error on David Lough's bunt as he tried to nail Gordon at third, filling the bases. Hosmer chopped a 1-1 pitch over the head of first baseman Allen Craig, plating Gordon and Escobar.

The crowd of 43,916 waited an hour for Wacha's first big-league pitch, and the fans weren't disappointed. Mixing a fastball that topped out at 96 mph with a changeup in the low to mid 80s, Wacha mowed down the first 13 Kansas City hitters he faced, fanning four.

Lorenzo Cain ended any thoughts of a debut perfecto with a one-out double to left-center in the fifth, then scored on Elliot Johnson's two-out single to right that cut the St. Louis lead to 2-1.

The Cardinals (35-18) scored both of their runs in the first with two outs off Jeremy Guthrie. Craig beat out an infield single to score Matt Carpenter, moved to second on Yadier Molina's hit and rode home on David Freese's single.

NOTES: To make room for Wacha, St. Louis demoted RHP Michael Blazek to Triple-A Memphis and reassigned LHP Jaime Garcia from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL. Blazek was on the roster for four days but didn't get into a game. Garcia is out for the year after undergoing rotator cuff and labrum surgery last week ... Entering Thursday's action, American League pitchers had six hits in National League venues. Three were by Kansas City (Guthrie, RHP James Shields and RHP Luis Mendoza) ... Cardinals RHP Jake Westbrook threw about 60 pitches in a bullpen session Thursday and will throw again Saturday. Westbrook, who went on disabled list three weeks ago due to right elbow inflammation, could go on a rehabilitation assignment next week if all goes well.
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