ST. LOUIS (AP) — Yadier Molina hit a grand slam one pitch after a cat ran onto the field in the sixth inning, helping the St. Louis Cardinals rally to beat the Kansas City Royals 8-5 on Wednesday night.
The Cardinals loaded the bases off Royals relievers Brandon Maurer and Peter Moylan. Molina was at the plate, with two outs, when the cat came onto the field and ran toward the center field wall.
On the next pitch, Molina drilled his 14th homer of the season into the left field seats for his fifth career slam.
Melky Cabrera hit his 15th home run, a two-run shot, that had given the Royals a 5-4 lead in the fifth.
Whit Merrifield had four for the Royals, who opened the game with four straight hits off Mike Leake and took a 2-0 lead on an RBI double from Lorenzo Cain and RBI single by Cabrera.
Merrifield made it 3-0 when he scored on Molina’s throwing error in the second.
The Cardinals scored twice in the second, on an RBI sacrifice bunt from Leake and an RBI single from Matt Carpenter, and then tied the game on Jedd Gyorko’s RBI single in the third.
Jose Martinez gave St. Louis a 4-3 lead in the fourth inning with his ninth homer.
Leake, the Cardinals’ starter, allowed five runs on 11 hits in five innings. Royals starter Trevor Cahill lasted just 2 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on four hits and walking five.
Matt Bowman (3-4) earned the win. Maurer (1-5) took the loss.
Trevor Rosenthal closed out the ninth inning for his ninth save.
ROYALS’ TOP FIVE
The first five hitters in the Kansas City lineup combined for 13 hits: four from Merrifield, three from Cain and two each from Eric Hosmer, Cabrera and Mike Moustakas. Merrifield’s four hits tied his career high.
Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar snapped an 0-for-20 streak with a single in the sixth inning. He added another single in his next at-bat.
The Royals escaped jams in the second and third with inning-ending plays from their middle infielders.
Escobar ranged to the other side of second base to nab Paul DeJong’s up-the-middle grounder, with two runners in scoring position, in the second inning.
In the third inning, with the bases loaded and just one out, Merrifield made a diving stop on a hard-hit grounder from Leake and flipped to Escobar for an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Royals: RHP Jason Hammel (5-9, 4.73 ERA) is 4-6 with a 5.68 ERA in 12 career starts against St. Louis. He’s 4-4 with a 4.95 ERA in eight starts at Busch Stadium.
Cardinals: RHP Lance Lynn (10-6, 3.12 ERA) has a 1.21 ERA since July 8, the lowest among MLB pitchers during that span.
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