Wong, Ozuna, Carpenter homer to help Cardinals split doubleheder with Royals
By JOE HARRIS
The Associated Press
ST. LOUIS — Marcell Ozuna made Homer Bailey work. Then he made him pay.
Ozuna, Matt Carpenter and Kolten Wong went deep as part of a four-homer barrage, and the St. Louis Cardinals split a doubleheader with the Kansas City Royals by winning the second game 10-3 on Wednesday.
Brad Keller threw seven-plus innings of two-hit ball to snap a six-start winless streak and Jorge Soler hit a three-run homer as the Royals beat the Cardinals 8-2 in the first game.
Severe storms around St. Louis forced Tuesday’s game to be postponed and created the day-night twinbill.
Ozuna capped a 12-pitch at-bat by blasting a three-run homer off Bailey over the right field wall to give the Cardinals a 3-0 lead in the first. Carpenter set the tone against Bailey, who threw 42 pitches in the inning, with a nine-pitch walk.
“Just be ready and working hard and right now try not to do too much,” Ozuna said. “I’m just trying to put the ball in play and make contact because that last two series I’ve struck out a lot.”
Ozuna also doubled, walked and scored twice. He drove in the Cardinals’ only runs in the first game, giving him five RBIs on the day.
“It’s more of a momentum game than maybe people realize,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. “We kept it going, finished out, which says something about the group. Finished out the first game, kept playing. And that’s a good sign when you keep playing the game when it’s not going your way. Good things will happen. Ozuna picked right up.”
Dexter Fowler also homered as St. Louis had as many home runs in the second game as it did hits in the opener.
Getting the early lead was a jolt of positive energy for the Cardinals, who had lost 10 of their last 12 games entering the second game.
“After we lost that game before, we got an early shot and we put some (runs) on the board,” Ozuna said. “That’s pretty impressive.”
Adam Wainwright (4-4) battled through control issues with 55 of his 103 pitches going for strikes. In five innings, he allowed three runs, six hits, walked four and struck out two.
John Gant, Andrew Miller, Carlos MartÌnez and John Brebbia combined for four scoreless innings of relief.
Carpenter’s two-run homer in the second inning landed in the right field bullpen. Fowler added a solo homer in the sixth as part of a three-hit night and Hilo’s Wong hit a three-run homer to cap a four-run seventh.
Bailey (4-5) threw 66 pitches, but lasted just 1 2/3 innings and gave up five runs. The right-hander has allowed 10 earned runs in his last two starts (six innings) and he hasn’t beaten St. Louis since 2014 (eight starts).
“They kept fouling pitches off, fouling pitches off,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “Ozuna I think had a 12-pitch at-bat. In that (first) inning I thought his stuff was pretty good, but the pitch count jumped up so quick, 42 pitches in the first inning. It just jumped up to the 65 mark after five outs. Just a lot of pitches.”
Hunter Dozier’s 10th home run of the year off of Wainwright in the fifth inning travelled 420 feet. Adalberto Mondesi had a pair of hits, scored and drove in a run.