Cardinals slugger Carlos Beltran was back in his old stomping grounds Friday night and continued to haunt the team that drafted him in 1995.
Beltran drove in four runs in an 11-4 win over the Royals and moved within eight hits of 2,000 for his career. His return to Kansas City came almost exactly eight years ago, playing at Kauffman Stadium for the first time since June 24, 2004 when he was traded to Houston.
Beltran has thrived this season for St. Louis, and his .309 batting average is second on the team behind Yadier Molina.
A pitching rematch from this past Sunday is on tap for this afternoon.
Adam Wainwright, who is winless in his last two starts, toes the rubber for the Cardinals. He didn't get a decision against the Royals on Sunday after throwing seven innings. The Royals won that game, 5-3, in 15 innings. Wainwright is 2-1 in seven games (4 starts) all-time against Kansas City.
Luis Mendoza lasted six frames on Sunday. The right-hander has gone six straight appearances without a victory, but they haven't all been starts. His last win came May 13 on the road vs. the White Sox.
The Cardinals held a 10-1 lead after two innings last night. David Freese and Tyler Greene also hit two-run doubles during the early onslaught and Matt Carpenter went 2-for-4 with an RBI in his return from the disabled list.
"It was good to be back, but it was better that we got to go outside and put a good couple innings together and score runs. As a team we haven't been able to do that lately, so it was good to see that," said Beltran.
A beneficiary of the run support, Joe Kelly (1-0) went six innings and picked up his first major league win. He allowed three runs and did not issue a walk in his third career start.
St. Louis had lost three of four entering Friday but victimized Kansas City starter Vin Mazzaro (3-2) to the tune of seven runs on six hits over just 1 1/3 innings.
"I didn't really give myself a chance to get into a groove," said Mazzaro. "I was up in the zone a lot. All my pitches were pretty much up tonight."
The Cardinals have won 14 of the last 21 encounters in the I-70 Series.