KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Carlos Beltran spent time chatting with some old friends Friday night and reminiscing about his days playing for the Kansas City Royals.
Then he made everyone at Kauffman Stadium remember what he looked like as a youngster.
Beltran hit two-run doubles his first two times at the plate, leading a St. Louis Cardinals offense that matched a season high with 17 hits to an 11-4 victory over their I-70 rivals.
"You know what? It was good to be back," said Beltran, who was playing in Kansas City for the first time since the Royals traded him in 2004. "But it was better to put a good couple of swings together and get some runs."
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.
"It feels pretty awesome," Kelly said. "I didn't have my best stuff, but my teammates were awesome tonight. Good defense, and they really hit the ball."
Most of the Cardinals' offense came against Vin 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.
"It was a tough one," he said. "Things didn't go my way. I didn't get down in the zone."
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.
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