Four-run eighth sends Cards past Royals

Daniel Descalsco broke a tie game with a pinch-hit, two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning, and the St. Louis Cardinals scored four times in the frame to rally for a 5-3 decision over the reeling Kansas City Royals at Busch Stadium.

Carlos Beltran ignited the comeback with a solo home run, with David Freese adding an RBI single prior to Descalso's hit to help the Cardinals to their seventh victory in eight games. That includes a pair of triumphs over the snakebit Royals in St. Louis on Monday and Tuesday to kick off the I-70 home- and-home series.

"Once we were able to get into their bullpen we were able to take advantage of those guys and get some big runs," said Beltran.

Matt Holliday also homered for the Cardinals, while Allen Craig and Yadier Molina each finished 3-for-4 with a run scored.

Randy Choate (1-0) recorded the final out of the top of the eighth to collect the win, with Edward Mujica tossing a perfect ninth to notch his 17th save in as many opportunities this season.

Aaron Crow (0-1) was saddled with the loss, the eighth in a row for Kansas City, after being rocked for four runs and five hits while getting just two outs in the eighth.

Alex Gordon went 3-for-5 and scored once to pace the Royals offensively. Starting pitcher Luis Mendoza had an RBI single in addition to holding St. Louis to one run over 5 2/3 effective innings.

"It was just one of those games where we thought we were going to break through with some big innings, but we just couldn't get those hits," said Kansas City manager Ned Yost.

Lance Lynn worked seven frames for the Cardinals and scattered eight hits while permitting a pair of runs.

With the Cardinals down 3-1, Beltran started the eighth-inning uprising by greeting Crow with a shot deep into the St. Louis bullpen, and Craig and Molina later reached on back-to-back one-out singles to put the go-ahead run on base. Freese then delivered a hard smash through the left side to plate Craig and tie the game at 3-3.

After Jon Jay was intentionally walked to load the bases, Crow struck out Pete Kozma looking before Descalso stepped in and shot the first pitch he saw up the middle to break the deadlock.

Both starters were sharp early, with Lynn retiring the first nine Kansas City hitters before Gordon singled to open the fourth with the game still scoreless. A double down the right-field line from Alcides Escobar then put men on second and third for Lorenzo Cain, who lofted a fly ball deep enough for Gordon to slide in ahead of Beltran's throw home.

The Cardinals had a chance to knot the score in the home half after Craig doubled and Molina followed with a single, but the Royals' David Lough fired a bullet to the plate to gun down Craig and keep it a 1-0 game.

Lough made a contribution at the plate the following inning by hustling out a triple to begin the fifth. Lynn kept him stranded by getting the next two batters, but Mendoza came through with a single for his first career RBI and a 2-0 Royals' edge.

St. Louis finally got on the board when Holliday socked a 3-1 pitch from Mendoza well over the center-field wall to lead off the bottom of the sixth, though Kansas City was able to regain a two-run advantage in the top of the eighth.

Mike Moustakas and Lough recorded consecutive singles against Seth Maness to place runners at the corners with one out, with George Kottaras' soft grounder enabling Moustakas to trot in from third for a 3-1 lead.

Game Notes

Moustakas went 2-for-4 in his return to the Royals' lineup after missing three game with a quadriceps injury ... Freese's RBI single extended his hitting streak to nine games, while teammate Matt Carpenter is batting .382 (13- for-34) during a seven-game tear ... Gordon is hitting .404 (44-for-109) on the road this season, tops among American League batters ... The Royals have managed just two home runs over their last 14 contests, during which they've won only twice.