EditorsNote: Fix 2: Changes 3rd graf wild-card standings
Maikel Franco drove in two runs and scored a third run as the host Kansas City Royals defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 4-1 on Monday night.
The Cardinals (26-25) came into the game with a half-game lead on the Phillies and a full-game lead on the Reds, Brewers and Giants in the crowded National League Wild Card race. The Phillies lost to the Nationals, while the Reds beat the Brewers and the Giants lost to the Rockies.
The Cardinals fell into a tie with the Reds for second in the NL Central, which carries an automatic playoff berth. They're both a half-game ahead of the Phillies and one game ahead of the Brewers and Giants. The Cards and Brewers will play a five-game series in St. Louis beginning Thursday.
Josh Staumont (2-1) picked up the win for the Royals (22-32). Staumont threw two innings of hitless relief. Greg Holland picked up his sixth save in as many chances.
Adam Wainwright (5-2) took the loss after running into trouble in the sixth. The inning began with the game tied at 1-1, but he threw 32 pitches and allowed two runs in that inning before leaving with two outs and the bases loaded.
The Cardinals opened the scoring in the second inning on a solo home run by Matt Carpenter. It was the fourth home run allowed this season by Royals starter Carlos Hernandez in 13 innings this season.
Hernandez threw a career-high 72 pitches, allowing one run on four hits, with three walks and four strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.
The Royals finally got to Wainwright in the fifth. Franco hit a one-out single and went to third on a double by Hunter Dozier. Franco scored on a slow roller to second by Alex Gordon.
Franco then put the Royals ahead with a two-out, bases-loaded single in the sixth. Whit Merrifield had a one-out single, giving him his 10th game with multiple hits in his last 12.
With two outs, Salvador Perez sent Merrifield to third with a single. Jorge Soler drew a walk, setting up Franco's hit. Wainwright then walked Dozier, ending his night.
Soler's double drove in Adalberto Mondesi with the Royals' fourth run in the eighth.
--Field Level Media