Salvador Perez and Franchy Cordero each hit two home runs and drove in a career-high five runs as the Kansas City Royals clobbered the St. Louis Cardinals 12-3 in the rubber game of a three-game series Tuesday in Kansas City. Perez tied his career high in RBIs with five on his first two swings.
It was the Royals' first victory in a rubber game all season, having lost 33 of their last 38 rubber games since 2017.
The Cardinals (27-26) fell into a tie with Cincinnati and Miami in the National League Wild Card race. They're a half-game ahead of the Giants and a game ahead of Philadelphia and Milwaukee, battling for four playoff spots.
Danny Duffy (4-4) earned the win for the Royals (23-33). He allowed one run on six hits, with five strikeouts and one walk, in 5 2/3 innings.
Carlos Martinez (0-3) took the loss. He allowed eight runs on nine hits, with two walks and three strikeouts in five-plus innings. He left with two on and no outs in the sixth in apparent pain in his left side. With Dakota Hudson already out for the year, the Cardinals will find it difficult to afford to lose another starter.
Perez put the Royals on the board in the first with a two-run home run to straightaway center. Hunter Dozier led off the second with a triple, and he scored on an infield single by Cordero.
Perez came up in the third with runners on first and second and no outs. He hit it into the fountains in left center, giving him six homers and 19 RBIs in the last nine games.
Duffy, meanwhile, was cruising, allowing one more than the minimum through four innings. He finally gave up a run on an RBI single by Dexter Fowler in the fifth.
The Royals added five more in the sixth, three on Cordero's three-run homer, another on a double by Adalberto Mondesi and the fifth on an RBI double by Maikel Franco. Cordero's second homer, in the eighth, gave the Royals a dozen runs.
The Cards added two runs in the ninth.
--Field Level Media