Jack Flaherty continued his recent hot streak with seven shutout innings, and the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Kansas City Royals 2-0 Tuesday in Kansas City.
Flaherty has the longest current scoreless-innings streak in the majors at 23 innings.
The Cardinals improved to 37-20 all-time at Kauffman Stadium.
Flaherty (6-6) is just 2-1 in his last seven starts, but it's not because of his efforts. He's allowed just four earned runs over 45 1/3 innings (0.79 ERA), beginning with a loss in San Francisco July 6, when he allowed one run on two hits in seven innings. He allowed just three hits Tuesday while striking out seven with one walk.
Carlos Martinez got the final two outs for his 13th save in 16 chances.
The Royals didn't mount much of a threat against Flaherty. They had two runners on base in the first and the sixth innings, but couldn't come through with the big hit.
Glenn Sparkman (3-8) was the hard-luck loser for Kansas City. He gave up just two runs (one earned) over six innings. It was a nice turnaround for Sparkman, who had given up 22 earned runs over 19 2/3 innings in his four starts since throwing a shutout against the White Sox on July 16.
The Royals were fresh off a 10-game road trip in which they set a club record with 22 home runs. But the offense was in short supply on Tuesday.
The Cardinals got a gift run in the top of the first. Dexter Fowler reached on an error by third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert. He moved to second on a balk by Sparkman, who slipped off the mound on his delivery. He moved to third on a groundout and scored on Paul Goldschmidt's sacrifice fly.
St. Louis grabbed another run in the third. Lane Thomas scored from second on Tommy Edman's two-out RBI single. Sparkman appeared to work out of a jam, allowing the first two runners to reach. Kolten Wong was thrown out at third trying to advance to third on a pitch in the dirt. But Thomas' single gave the Cardinals a cushion.
--Field Level Media