KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Carlos Beltran hit two two-run doubles in his return to Kauffman Stadium, and the St. Louis Cardinals pounded Vin Mazzaro and the Kansas City Royals 11-4 on Friday night.
David Freese and Tyler Greene added two RBIs each for St. Louis, and everybody in the starting lineup had a hit before the fourth inning ended. Jon Jay returned from the disabled list to go 1 for 5 and score twice, and Matt Carpenter came off the DL to go 2 for 4 with an RBI.
It was plenty of offense for Joe Kelly (1-0), who gave up three runs over six shaky innings to pick up his first major league victory in his third career start.
Most of the Cardinals' offense came against Mazzaro (3-2), who allowed seven runs, six hits, two walks and a hit batter while recording just four outs.
Mazzaro went six scoreless innings in a 3-2 win last Friday night at St. Louis.
Just about the only bright spot for Kansas City in the opener of a three-game series was the return of catcher Salvador Perez, who had been on the disabled list since spring training with a torn knee ligament. Perez went 2 for 4 with a monster two-run homer in the fourth inning.
Otherwise, a day that started off badly for the Royals — right-hander Felipe Paulino went on the DL with a torn elbow ligament — kept getting worse with every pitch Mazzaro threw.
His first three were balls to Rafael Furcal, and he eventually issued a walk. Jay was hit by a pitch, and Matt Holiday singled to load the bases for Beltran, whose two-run double off the wall in left field elicited a roar from a sellout crowd that included plenty of red shirts.
Yadier Molina added an RBI single, and Carpenter's sacrifice fly made it 4-0.
Mazzaro managed to escape the inning, and Kansas City got a run back on three straight base hits, with Eric Hosmer's slicing single to left bringing home Yuniesky Betancourt.
Mazzaro gave the run right back — and then some.
Furcal and Jay started the second with singles, and after Holliday flied out to left, Beltran delivered his second straight two-run double. Mazzaro was lifted from the game to a chorus of boos, and reliever Roman Colon didn't fare much better as St. Louis took a 10-1 lead.
It was the first time the Cardinals scored 10 or more runs in the first two innings since May 8, 2005, against San Diego, and their 17 hits in the game matched a season high.
Beltran was responsible for much of it in his return to Kansas City.
The six-time All-Star was drafted by the Royals in 1995, and drove in 100 or more runs four times over six-plus seasons. But the Royals traded him to Houston in June 2004, anticipating that they wouldn't be able to pay Beltran the princely sum that he would get on the open market.
He eventually signed a seven-year, $119 million contract with the Mets.
Beltran landed with the Cardinals this season after a short stop in San Francisco, and faced the Royals for the first time last week in St. Louis, going 6 for 14 and driving in a run.
Beltran picked up right where he left off on Friday night.
This time, the rest of the Cardinals' offense joined in the fun.
Notes: The Royals optioned LHP Tommy Hottovy to Triple-A Omaha. ... St. Louis optioned OF Adron Chambers and 1B Matt Adams to Triple-A Memphis. ... The Cardinals have won nine of their last 12 in Kansas City. ... Freese and Holliday both reached base four times. ... Royals relievers lead the major leagues with 268 1-3 innings pitched this season. ... RHP Adam Wainwright starts Saturday for St. Louis. RHP Luis Mendoza goes to the mound for Kansas City.