KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Bobby Witt Jr. hit his first major league home run, Brad Keller pitched shutout ball into the seventh inning and the Kansas City Royals beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-1 Tuesday night to end a four-game losing streak.
Witt had two hits, two RBIs and scored twice. MJ Melendez got a hit in his big league debut and Edward Olivares had a career-high four of the Royals’ 15 hits.
Keller (1-2) allowed four hits in 6 1/3 innings, walked three and struck out two. He permitted a baserunner in every inning but sixth, but never more than one until the seventh.
Witt extended his hitting streak to 11 games with his solo home run in the second inning off Dakota Hudson (2-2). The prized rookie launched an 0-1 changeup from Hudson 417 feet into the bleachers in left center.
Witt came up in the fourth with no outs and runners on the corners and grounded into a double play that scored a run.
Hudson left after issuing a leadoff walk in the seventh to Nicky Lopez with the Royals ahead 2-0. Olivares hit an RBI trouble and Andrew Benintendi, Whit Merrifield, Witt and Michael Taylor also had RBIs in the inning.
The Cards got a run in the eighth on Tyler O’Neill’s single.
Cardinals SS Edmundo Sosa, along with three members of the Cardinals medical staff and one clubhouse attendant, tested positive for COVID-19. Sosa was placed on the COVID-19 injured list.
Cardinals: C Yadier Molina was scratched with non-COVID illness. Manager Oliver Marmol was confident he’d be back in the lineup on Wednesday. Molina was replaced in the starting lineup by Andrew Knizner.
Royals: 1B Carlos Santana was a late scratch with right ankle soreness. His spot in the lineup was taken by Ryan O’Hearn.
The Cardinals and Royals will conclude their two-game series Wednesday wth an afternoon contest. The game was originally scheduled for a 6:10 p.m. start, but the weather forecast led to the change. The Cardinals will send RHP Adam Wainwright (2-3, 4.00 ERA) to the mound. The Royals will counter with LHP Kris Bubic (0-2, 10.50 ERA).
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