Royals try to deck Cards again in KC

( - A pair of division leaders resume their three-game set at Kauffman Stadium, as the Kansas City Royals target a series victory Saturday night over the St. Louis Cardinals.

The AL Central-leading Royals made it four straight wins with Friday's 5-0 verdict and were led by Chris Young's six shutout innings and an early burst of power. Kansas City jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning thanks to a three-run homer by Kendrys Morales.

Morales was at it again with a two-run shot in the third inning and finished with three hits. Lorenzo Cain was 2-for-4 with two runs scored.

"On the first homer, it was right where I wanted it," Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn said. "He just put a good swing on it. The next one was a backup slider. He's a good hitter, somebody I hadn't seen before. I didn't really know how to attack him. Now I know not to do that."

Kansas City has won nine of its last 12 games and will send Edinson Volquez to the mound Saturday. Volquez is 3-3 with a 2.74 earned run average in eight starts and tasted victory the last time out in a 6-0 win over the New York Yankees on Sunday. He fired seven shutout innings and won for the first time since April 20 against Minnesota.

Volquez has made 15 career starts against the Cardinals and is 4-6 with a 4.69 ERA over that stretch.

The NL Central-leading Cardinals have sputtered a bit with eight losses in the past 13 tries. Lynn didn't help the cause Friday and was tagged for five runs and 10 hits over six innings.

Lynn was bothered by a back issue.

"There are going to be games where you don't feel good and you just have to go out there and see what you can do," Lynn said. "When it was all said and done, two pitches cost me five runs."

Matt Carpenter had three hits and Yadier Molina finished 2-for-3 in defeat.

John Lackey looks to pitch the Cards back on track when he toes the rubber Saturday night. Lackey has a 2-2 mark and a 2.96 ERA in eight starts and is 0-1 in his past two outings. He did not record a decision in Monday's 2-1 loss to the New York Mets and fired seven innings of one-run, three-hit ball.

Lackey will make his 11th career start against the Royals and is 3-4 with a 3.54 ERA over the first 10 appearances.

The Royals won three of their four meetings with the Cardinals in last season's I-70 rivalry, but have lost eight of their last 10 at home against St. Louis.