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Arenado Homers (Again) as Cardinals Sweep Royals

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The Cardinals have won six in a row and are now five games over .500.

St Louis Cardinals v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

With three runs in the first and four more in the second, the Cardinals and starter J.A. Happ cruised to a 7-2 win and series sweep over the Royals on Sunday afternoon in Kansas City. For the Cardinals, Sunday’s win capped off a perfect, 6-0 roadtrip through Pittsburgh and KC, and they have now won 9 of 13 this month.

The Cardinals are now 61-56 and have the longest active winning streak in baseball. Peeking around the league, the Marlins, Astros, and Mariners have all won four in a row, while the Cubs and Orioles are both losers of 11 straight games.

St. Louis wasted no time getting on the board this afternoon against Royals lefty Kris Bubic. Tommy Edman led off the game with a base hit and advanced to third on a base hit from Paul Goldschmidt. Nolan Arenado came up next and drove in Edman. Later in the inning, with two outs, Jose Rondon doubled to left to drive in Goldy and Arenado, and the Cardinals had a quick, 3-0 lead.

Whit Merrifield greeted Happ with a leadoff single in the bottom of the first, but it was erased shortly after by a Carlos Santana, groundball double play and Salvador Perez fly out. In the top of the second, Edman again led off with a single, and he scored on Goldy’s double.

Arenado followed Goldy with a big fly to left field, his 25th homer of the season, and the Cardinals had another crooked number in the run column. Tyler O’Neill wanted to get in on the fun, too, so he went yard after Arenado — the second time the pair went back-to-back in the series. St. Louis held a 7-0 lead with nobody out in the second. Bubic did not pitch past the second inning, but the damage was already done.

Happ let the Royals load the bases in the bottom of the second, with base hits from Andrew Benintendi and Emmanuel Rivera and a walk to Nicky Lopez, but the Cards’ lefty got out of it. Happ went on to set the Royals down in order in the third and fourth and eventually left the game with two outs in the sixth with a couple of runners on. Happ finished the day with 89 pitches (53 strikes) with no runs allowed on five hits and two walks. Happ gave way to Luis Garcia, who got the final out of the sixth and turned in a clean seventh.

Justin Miller entered to pitch for the Cardinals in the bottom of the eighth. Miller surrendered a one-out double to Santana before Perez connected on his 30th homer of the season. Miller was able to get out of the eighth without any additional damage, and T.J. McFarland logged a scoreless ninth to seal the deal on the Cardinals’ 7-2 win.

The Cardinals are off on Monday and will head back to St. Louis to start an eight-game stretch at Busch Stadium. First on tap: the Milwaukee Brewers, who own a 10-game lead over the Cardinals at the close of play on Sunday. It’ll be Adam Wainwright and Corbin Burnes in Tuesday’s series opener, with the first pitch set for 6:45 PM Central.