Holliday, Molina lead Cardinals past Royals

Sunday, June 17, 2012
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny argues with umpires Dana DeMuth, center, and Kerwin Danley during the first inning of Saturday’s game against the Royals in St. Louis. Matheny was ejected by Danley. (Jeff Roberson ~ Associated Press)

ST. LOUIS -- Matt Holliday found that elusive comfort zone.

Holliday homered and drove in five runs and Yadier Molina homered and drove in four, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 10-7 win over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday.

Holliday also doubled twice and singled. Molina broke a 7-7 tie with a two-run, bases-loaded single off reliever Greg Holland in the seventh inning.

Holliday got four hits after starting the game in an 0-for-12 slump.

"It's been frustrating. My swing had been a little off," Holliday said. "I've just been trying to battle, trying to find a good groove."

Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, right, is congratulated by first base coach Chris Maloney after hitting a two-run single during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals on Saturday, June 16, 2012, in St. Louis. The Cardinals won 10-7. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The veteran slugger made a few minor adjustments in batting practice. Those moves paid dividends.

"Some little mechanical things," Holliday said. "It is nice to see the results."

St. Louis won for the third time in four games. Kansas City's four-game winning streak ended.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was ejected in the first inning after umpires overruled an initial call that temporarily had led to a triple play.

With runners on first and second, Eric Hosmer hit a line drive that St. Louis pitcher Joe Kelly snared near the ground and threw to first. After first baseman Matt Adams tossed the ball back to Kelly, the pitcher then threw to second for the apparent third out.

Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina watches his two-run home run against the Royals during the first inning Saturday in St. Louis.
Jeff Roberson
Associated Press

But after a three-minute conference that included crew chief Dana DeMuth, the umpires ruled that the ball hit the ground. Bench coach Mike Aldrete took over for Matheny.

"I saw the ball bounce," said Hosmer.

Matheny said he wasn't arguing about the reversal. He Instead said he was upset that the umpires didn't make an immediate ruling on Hosmer's ball.

"The issue was the pitcher came up with the ball looking for a call to be made," Matheny said. "The play was not to first base if we get a quick ruling on what it is. That was my argument."

"Our main concern was to get the call right," DeMuth said. "When I got everybody together, nobody had a catch."

Holliday staked his team to an early 2-0 lead with a 431-foot homer off Bruce Chen in the first. Molina also hit a two-run homer in the inning.

Chen gave up six earned runs on seven hits over 1 2/3 innings in his shortest start of the season.

Mike Moustakas homered and drove in four runs for the Royals, who rallied from a 6-1 deficit to a take a 7-6 lead with three runs in the seventh.

Mitchell Boggs (1-1) picked up the win with 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. Jason Motte recorded his 14th save in 17 chances.

Tim Collins (4-1) took the loss.

Alcides Escobar had a two-run single in the seventh to give the Royals a 7-6 lead.

Holliday tied it with an RBI single in the seventh. Allen Craig walked to load the bases for Molina.

Kansas City came back with single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings before taking the lead with three in the seventh. Hosmer walked and Jeff Francoeur singled before Moustakas added an RBI hit. Brayan Pena followed with an infield single to load the bases, and Escobar poked a hit to right to give the Royals a 7-6 lead.

Kelly, making his second major league start, gave up two earned runs on seven hits over 4 1/3 innings.

Carlos Beltran added three hits and extended his hitting streak to nine games. He pushed the lead to 5-1 with an RBI single, and Holliday followed with an RBI double.

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