EditorsNote: Updates with Giants win over Rockies in 5th graf
Dylan Carlson had three hits, three runs and two RBIs to help the St. Louis Cardinals defeat the host Kansas City Royals 5-0 Tuesday.
Carlson finished a homer shy of the cycle.
Cardinals starter Austin Gomber (1-1) allowed four hits and no walks, striking out three, in six innings. His longest outing previously this season was three innings.
A night after losing ground to most of their competitors in the National League playoff race, the Cardinals enjoyed a positive night. With the Reds losing Tuesday to the Brewers, St. Louis (27-25) grabbed a one-game lead over Cincinnati (28-28) and Milwaukee (27-27) for second place in the NL Central and an automatic playoff berth.
The Philadelphia Phillies (27-29) lost a doubleheader to the Washington Nationals, and the San Francisco Giants (27-27) defeated the Rockies. Philadelphia and San Francisco are battling the NL Central teams that finish outside the top two for the two NL wild-card berths.
The Royals (22-33) are officially eliminated from postseason contention.
Brady Singer (3-5) took the loss with the worst -- and shortest -- outing of his brief major league career. He gave up three runs on three hits in three-plus innings. His problem was control, as he issued a career-high five walks and hit a batter with a pitch.
Singer, who had allowed no runs and three hits in 14 innings combined in his last two starts, struggled from the start. He walked two batters in the first but escaped trouble. He wasn't as fortunate in the second when he walked the first two batters before Carlson hit a two-run double.
The four walks, in the first seven batters, tied his career high. Kolten Wong singled home Carlson.
Carlson led off the fourth with a triple, and Singer's night was done. So was his manager's, as Mike Matheny was tossed after a disagreement with plate umpire Manny Gonzalez.
Jake Newberry replaced Singer and escaped the jam.
The Cardinals added a run in the fifth on an RBI double by Brad Miller and another on a sacrifice fly by Tommy Edman in the sixth.
Ryan Helsley, Genesis Cabrera and Jake Woodford each threw a scoreless inning to complete St. Louis' six-hitter.
--Field Level Media