Royals-Cardinals Preview

The Associated Press

It has not been pretty, but the St. Louis Cardinals have given themselves a chance to win consecutive series for the first time in six weeks.

The Cardinals look to build on their latest offensive outburst in Sunday's decisive series finale against the Kansas City Royals at Busch Stadium.

St. Louis (34-32) held on for victories of 1-0 and 5-3 in the final two of a three-game home set against the Chicago White Sox this week. After falling 3-2 to Kansas City on Friday, the Cardinals blew an early five-run lead but won 10-7 on Saturday.

The Cardinals opened their nine-game homestand by losing two of three to Cleveland.

Matt Holliday and Yadier Molina each homered and combined for nine RBIs as St. Louis scored three times in the seventh inning to erase a 7-6 deficit Saturday.

"We got the win, that's all that matters, whoever comes through," Molina told the Cardinals' official website.

It was a much-needed effort for Holliday, who finished with four hits and five RBIs after starting the day mired in an 0-for-12 slump.

"It's been frustrating, my swing had been a little off,'' said Holliday, who ended a 17-game drought without a homer. "I've just been trying to battle, trying to find a good groove. It is nice to see the results."

St. Louis hasn't won two straight series since taking two of three from Milwaukee and Pittsburgh April 27-May 3.

Adam Wainwright (5-7, 4.75 ERA) hopes for another positive performance when he takes the mound for the Cardinals on Sunday. Though the right-hander lost his last outing, he was encouraged after giving up two runs and striking out seven in seven innings of a 6-1 loss to the White Sox on Tuesday.

"I feel very comfortable on the mound,'' said Wainwright, who has allowed three runs or fewer in four of his last five starts. "It's all kind of getting back into the swing of things.''

The right-hander is 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA as a starter against the Royals, but he has not faced them since 2009.

Third baseman Mike Moustakas had three hits, including his 10th homer, and four RBIs on Saturday as the Royals (28-35) did not let their season high-tying four-game winning streak end without a fight.

"I was really proud of the offense, the way they stayed after it,'' Kansas City manager Ned Yost said. "Down 6-1, they just kept putting together good at-bats. We battled back and got the lead, but from the seventh inning on (our pitchers) just really struggled to command the ball.''

Facing St. Louis for the first time, Kansas City's Luis Mendoza (2-3, 4.89) looks to build on his best outing of the season when he makes his second straight start since moving out of the bullpen.

The right-hander took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, then finished by allowing one hit and one run over six innings to outpitch ex-Royal Zack Greinke while not factoring in the decision of a 2-1 win over Milwaukee on Tuesday.

Mendoza, who has made 11 appearances this season, is 1-2 with a 5.16 ERA in six starts.

With two hits and two RBIs on Saturday, Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar is batting .360 (9 for 25) with five RBIs in his last seven games. However, he is 2 for 13 versus Wainwright.

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