The St Louis Cardinals narrowly escaped Kansas City in a wild 9-8 triumph over the Royals that lasted 10 innings on Sunday.
The National League Central-leading Cardinals squandered a 7-1 lead, then broke a 7-7 tie by scoring on two bases-loaded walks in the top of the 10th.
St Louis reliever Fernando Salas allowed an RBI double that cut the lead to one in the bottom of the 10th, but he recovered to get the final two outs and record his seventh save of the season.
“You have to give them credit, they battled,” Cardinals outfielder Colby Rasmus told reporters. “But to come away with it, I think that’s huge.”
St Louis charged early with a two-run homer from Allen Craig in the third, while Yadier Molina went 4-for-5 and delivered a two-run triple in the fourth.
St Louis starter Jaime Garcia (5-0), who left in the sixth after allowing a solo home run to Jeff Francoeur to make it 7-3, took a no-decision after allowing three runs in five innings.
The Royals rallied with a two-run homer in the sixth from Wilson Betemit, who finished 3-for-5, and Kansas City’s Alex Gordon added a solo blast in the seventh where the home side scored twice to tie the game 7-7.
However, Kansas City’s bullpen failed them down the stretch, helping the Cardinals load the bases in the 10th on a walk, an error and a hit batsman.
Kansas City’s Louis Coleman took the loss after allowing the base runners, before Tim Collins came on and walked Rasmus and Molina for the go-ahead runs.
Rasmus drew five of the Cardinals’ 13 total walks as the Royals were forced to use eight pitchers and the Cardinals seven.
Kansas City manager Ned Yost and catcher Matt Treanor were both ejected in the seventh for arguing balls and strikes.
In other interleague action, it was:
‧ Indians 12, Reds 4
‧ Yankees 9, Mets 3
‧ Astros 3, Blue Jays 2
‧ Rays 4, Marlins 0
‧ Tigers 2, Pirates 0
‧ Rangers 2, Phillies 0
‧ Orioles 2, Nationals 1
‧ Brewers 3, Rockies 1
‧ White Sox 8, Dodgers 3
‧ Angels 4, Braves 1
‧ Giants 5, Athletics 1 (11)
‧ Mariners 6, Padres 1
‧ Diamondbacks 3, Twins 2
‧ Red Sox 5, Cubs 1