May 23, 2009
Todd Wellemeyer carried a three-hitter into the seventh inning to bounce back from two poor starts and the St. Louis Cardinals leaned on rookies for offense in a 5-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Friday night.
Nick Stavinoha had a two-run single in the first off Kyle Davies (2-3), who later retired 15 in a row. Tyler Greene hit his second career homer in the seventh for the Cardinals, who have won four in a row behind stingy starters who have allowed one run in 28 2-3 innings.
The Royals have lost 10 of 13 and dropped to .500 (21-21) for the first time since they were 10-10 on April 28.
Jason Motte struck out pinch-hitters Willie Bloomquist and Billy Butler with runners on second and third to preserve a 2-0 lead in the seventh and ended up with three strikeouts in 1 2-3 innings. The Cardinals have outscored the opposition 13-2 during the streak, including their second and third shutouts of the season, and this was the first game that wasn't close.
Wellemeyer (4-4) retired the first six hitters and 11 of the first 12 to distance himself from two previous starts in which he allowed 11 runs in 10 innings, finding his footing against the team that waived him in May 2007. Wellemeyer walked a career-worst seven in his last outing against the Brewers, but had much better control against Kansas City with three walks and three strikeouts while allowing four hits in six-plus innings.
Wellemeyer entered 1-3 with a 6.51 ERA at home, lowering it to a still hefty 5.35.
Stavinoha, likely holding a roster spot until injured outfielders Rick Ankiel and Ryan Ludwick return from the 15-day disabled list, put the Cardinals ahead with his two-out, two-run single in the first. The rookie has started six straight games in right field and has three RBIs.
Greene hit his second homer into the Cardinals' bullpen in right field on a 3-2 pitch from Horacio Ramirez for a 3-0 lead in the seventh. Pinch-hitter Khalil Greene, who has started only one of the last eight games due to anxiety issues related to a slump, added a two-run single off Kyle Farnsworth in the eighth.
Davies allowed two runs on only three hits in six innings. He's 0-1 on the road in five starts despite a 2.16 ERA.