EditorsNote: Update 3: Graf 4 updates with Giants win
Salvador Perez and Franchy Cordero each hit two homers and drove in five runs as the Kansas City Royals clobbered the visiting St. Louis Cardinals 12-3 in the rubber game of a three-game series Wednesday.
Perez tied his career high in RBIs with five on his first two swings. Cordero never previously had more than three RBIs in a game.
It was the Royals' first victory in a rubber game all season, having lost 33 of their past 38 rubber games since 2017.
The Cardinals (27-26) fell into a tie with the Cincinnati Reds (29-28) for second place in the National League Central; the top two teams in each division qualify for the playoffs. In the NL wild-card race, St. Louis, Cincinnati and San Francisco (28-27) ended the day tied, with the Philadelphia Phillies (28-29) and Milwaukee Brewers (27-28) each one game back.
Danny Duffy (4-4) earned the win for the Royals (23-33). He allowed one run on six hits with five strikeouts and one walk in 5 2/3 innings.
Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez (0-3) allowed eight runs on nine hits with two walks and three strikeouts in five-plus innings. He left with two on and no outs in the sixth, apparently feeling pain in his left side. With Dakota Hudson already out for the year, the Cardinals will find it difficult to afford to lose another starter.
Perez put the Royals on the board in the first with a two-run home run to straightaway center. Hunter Dozier led off the second with a triple, and he scored on an infield single by Cordero.
Perez came up in the third with runners on first and second and no outs. He hit it into the fountains in left center, giving him six homers and 19 RBIs in the past nine games.
Duffy, meanwhile, was cruising, allowing one more than the minimum through four innings. He finally gave up a run on an RBI single by Dexter Fowler in the fifth.
The Royals added five more in the sixth, three on Cordero's three-run homer, another on a double by Adalberto Mondesi and the fifth on an RBI double by Maikel Franco. Cordero's second homer, in the eighth, gave the Royals a dozen runs.
The Cards added two runs in the ninth.
--Field Level Media