KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Cardinals manager Mike Matheny is under no illusions that his team will be able to put up the kind of offense it has the first two games of its three-game series against Kansas City all the time.
Might as well take advantage of it while it's happening, though.
Matt Holliday had four hits and drove in a pair of runs, Allen Craig belted a two-run homer and finished with three RBIs, and Adam Wainwright enjoyed all that run support while shutting down the Kansas City Royals in an 8-2 victory on Saturday.
"That's the way it's mean to be," Matheny said. "We know this isn't the kind of offense you produce every night, but it gives you a lot of confidence."
The Cardinals came into the series scuffling on offense, but they've broken out of it in style while taking the first two games. They matched a season high with 17 hits on Friday night en route to an 11-4 victory, and were nearly as proficient at the plate during the Saturday matinee.
All to the delight of a crowd of 37,240 that was primarily dressed in red.
"When you have a lineup like we have, just keep us in the game," said Wainwright (6-7), who allowed two runs on four hits and two walks over seven sharp innings.
"That was a pretty dominant outing," Matheny said. "You can tell he's in a good place."
The Cardinals certainly feel like they're in a good place in Kansas City, where they improved to 26-15 in franchise history, and took a 3-2 lead in the season series.
"Everyone's working their tail off," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "They're doing what they need to do in terms of their work and preparation. They just need to take it to the field."
St. Louis started its offensive onslaught in the third inning against Luis Mendoza (2-4), when Rafael Furcal worked a two-out walk and back-to-back singles by Jon Jay and Holliday made it 1-0.
Mendoza eventually escaped the jam, but everything fell apart in the fifth.
Daniel Descalso started a run of five straight singles in the fifth for St. Louis, and RBI base hits by Jay and Holliday knocked Mendoza from the game. Kelvin Herrera came in and promptly gave up another RBI single to Carlos Beltran, staking the Cardinals to a 4-0 lead.