The St Louis Cardinals play the second game of an interleague series on the road Saturday against the Kansas City Royals. St Louis improved to 58-56 following a 7-6 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday. Lars Nootbaar and Paul DeJong each hit home runs for the Cardinals and St. Louis completed a three-game sweep of the Pirates. St Louis is third in the National League Central 11 games behind first-place Milwaukee.
Paul Goldschmidt is batting .271 to lead St Louis and the first baseman has a team-high 117 hits. Third baseman Nolan Arenado has 22 home runs and 69 RBIs to lead the Cardinals in both and left fielder Dylan Carlson has a team-high .341 on-base percentage. On Saturday, St Louis will send Jon Lester to the mound. The left-hander is 3-6 with an ERA of 5.57, 57 Ks and 33 BBs.
Kansas City dropped to 49-64 following a 5-2 loss to the New York Yankees on Wednesday. The Royals were off on Thursday and Kansas City has lost four of the last six. The Royals are last in the American League Central 17 ½ games behind the first-place Chicago White Sox. Kansas City's struggles are in a big part caused by poor performance on the mound as the Royals have a team ERA of 4.89 which is 26th in baseball.
Salvador Perez is batting .276 to lead Kansas City and the catcher has team highs in home runs with 29 and RBIs with 73. First baseman Carlos Santana is the leader in on-base percentage of .338, while right fielder Whit Merrifield has a team high 123 hits. On Saturday, Kansas City will send Brad Keller to the mound. The right-hander is 7-11 with an ERA of 5.79, 101 Ks and 57 BBs.