Cardinals-Royals Preview

There could be an opportunity for Tyler Lyons to make a case for a permanent place in the St. Louis Cardinals' injury-plagued rotation.

Lyons had a solid debut in his last outing and will face a Kansas City Royals team that is one defeat shy of a franchise-record home losing streak entering Tuesday night's contest.

St. Louis (33-17) has lost Jaime Garcia for the year, and Jake Westbrook and John Gast are currently on the disabled list.

That's why the 25-year-old Lyons (1-0, 1.29 ERA) had his contract purchased from Triple-A Memphis for his debut last Wednesday in a 5-3 win at San Diego. He yielded one run over seven innings and also singled once in three at-bats.

"I pitched well, I got a hit and we won the ballgame," Lyons said. "It doesn't get much better than that."

Known for his sinker, Lyons went 2-1 with a 4.47 ERA in eight starts at Memphis. He could cause problems for Kansas City (21-27), which is 4-10 against left-handed starters.

St. Louis has won six straight on the road in the I-70 Series after Monday's 6-3 victory and is a major league-best 19-9 on the road this season. Yadier Molina homered and drove in four runs, improving to 10 for 16 in his last five games.

''We're playing good,'' Molina said. ''We've got some good offense. Right now, we're seeing the ball pretty good. We're finding some holes. We're showing the people we've got a pretty good team. Hopefully we can continue to do that for the rest of the season.''

Allen Craig added three hits and his team-high 36th RBI. Craig is 14 for 35 with nine RBIS in nine games against the Royals.

Kansas City has lost six straight, 17 of 21 overall and will try to avoid matching the home losing streak set last season when it began 0-10 at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals last dropped seven straight during a 12-game slide April 11-24, 2012.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny used former Royals slugger Carlos Beltran as his designated hitter Monday. Beltran got the day off Sunday due to shoulder soreness.

Matt Holliday, hitless in his last 11 at-bats, got Monday off. He's one of two available Cardinals who have faced Royals starter Ervin Santana (3-4, 3.14), going 2 for 6.

Santana, seeking his 100th career victory, is winless in four starts and has posted a 4.71 ERA in losing his last three after giving up five runs over 7 2-3 innings in Thursday's 5-4 home defeat to the Angels.

The right-hander will be hoping that the Royals can get untracked after totaling 12 runs during their longest losing streak of the year.

Third baseman Mike Moustakas will likely miss a second straight game with a bruised quad. Manager Ned Yost said that the infielder is feeling better but will likely choose to rest the lefty-swinging Moustakas against Lyons.

Designated hitter Billy Butler has gone nine straight games without an RBI, going 7 for 29 with no extra-base hits in that span.

Alex Gordon moved past Butler for the team lead Monday with his 31st RBI, but he has just three in his last 14 games despite hitting .389 in that stretch.

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