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Washington, MO

Cardinals Face Royals in Game 2 of Interstate 70 Series

The St. Louis Cardinals' offense is on a roll,
and the Kansas City Royals felt the brunt of that Monday night.

After scoring 13 runs Sunday in Cincinnati, the Cardinals kept
raking Monday to thump the Royals 11-3.

The teams meet again Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium in the
second game of a four-game series split between the two Missouri
rivals. The series shifts to St. Louis on Wednesday.

"It's not realistic that you're going to score 10 every night, but
if we get on a stretch where we're putting up five, six, with our
starting pitching, we've got a chance every night," said Cardinals
first baseman Matt Carpenter, who hit a three-run homer Monday.

Carpenter is batting .451 at Kauffman Stadium, including going
4-for-4 on June 4, 2014, off Royals left-hander Jason Vargas, who
starts Tuesday.

The Cardinals have been dominant in Kansas City, where they are
33-19. The game Monday was a sellout with an announced attendance
of 38,478, which included a heavy sprinkling of Cardinals red
through the stadium.

"This is always an exciting series for us, playing the Cardinals
two-and-two, a natural rival if you will, at least that's what MLB
calls it," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "It's always a fun series
to play them.

"They're always a tough team. They didn't have one really bad
stretch and really good stretch. They've been consistent all year
long. They've got really good starting pitching. They've got
tremendous veteran leadership with Yadier Molina over there. When
they get hot, they're a good team offensively. They've got a good
bullpen. It's a tough team."

Vargas (13-5, 3.10 ERA) will try to cool off a hot St. Louis
offense. The lefty, however, has not pitched well since the start
of July. He was 12-3 with a 2.22 ERA at the end of June. In five
starts since, he is 1-3 with a 6.85 ERA.

He is facing St. Louis for the fifth time in his career, but the
first time since 2014. Vargas is 1-1 with a 4.09 ERA vs. the
Cardinals, with his lone victory in 2010.

St. Louis will counter with right-hander Michael Wacha, who is 2-1
with a 2.42 ERA and four quality starts against the Royals. He has
a 2.84 ERA in Kansas City. In an 8-4 victory over the Royals last
season at Kauffman Stadium, he gave up four runs (three earned)
over six innings.

Wacha (8-4, 3.66 ERA) is 5-1 with a 1.90 ERA in his past seven
starts. He is 4-5 with a 3.42 ERA in 13 career interleague starts.

No Royal has more than 12 at-bats against Wacha. Lorenzo Cain and
Eric Hosmer are both 4-for-12 with a double and a strikeout, while
Alcides Escobar is 3-for-11 with a double. No current Royal has a
home run off Wacha.

Molina is 3-for-8 with a double and a walk vs. Vargas.

"It is fun," Cardinals right-fielder Ryan Grichuk said of facing
the Royals. "Obviously, the fans are into it. I was actually in an
Uber today going to lunch and they were talking about it on the
radio and they were getting all excited and the Uber driver was
excited and hoped the Royals did well. Yeah, it's something for
them to get into, so it's always fun to play in."

The Royals, who have lost six of eight, are three games back of the
first-place Cleveland Indians in the American League Central and in
a virtual tie with the Tampa Bay Rays for the second AL wild-card
spot. The Cardinals trail the first-place Chicago Cubs by 3 1/2
games in the National League Central.

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