Series: Game 3 of 3

St. Louis won 3-0

Game 1: Friday, June 25
St. Louis5Final
Kansas City2
Game 2: Saturday, June 26
St. Louis3Final
in 10
Kansas City1
Game 3: Sunday, June 27
St. Louis10Final
Kansas City3

Cardinals 10

(46-29, 26-12 away)

Royals 3

(28-44, 18-21 home)

    2:10 PM ET, June 27, 2004

    Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri 

    123456789 R H E
    STL 032040010 10 15 1
    KC 000300000 3 8 1

    W: J. Marquis (7-4)

    L: J. Gobble (4-5)

    St. Louis wins fifth in a row

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The bottom of the St. Louis batting order decided it was time to carry Albert Pujols and Scott Rolen for a change.

    Mike Matheny, Reggie Sanders, Hector Luna and So Taguchi combined for nine RBI on Sunday in a 10-3 victory that gave the surging Cardinals their first sweep in Kansas City.

    "That's huge," said Matheny, who had four RBI and two of the Cardinals' 15 singles. "It's nice to have someone else doing it instead of relying on those guys too much."

    Rolen and Edgar Renteria each had three hits and scored three runs. The Cardinals' fifth straight win pushed them a season-high 17 games over .500 and five games ahead in the NL Central.

    They've won 13 of their last 17 on the road and are 8-1 in interleague games against Kansas City, Texas and Oakland.

    "I have to say so far this year, it is the best ballclub we have faced," Royals manager Tony Pena said. "A real good offensive ballclub. They just knocked us around. It's very simple."

    Sanders beamed when told of Pena's remarks.

    "Oh, wow! That's very good to hear," he said. "We're all focused. We're all working hard. But it's still a long grind."

    The fading Royals lost their fourth in a row and dropped a season-low 16 games under .500. They have been swept seven times and are winless since trading star center fielder Carlos Beltran to Houston on Thursday.

    They also got bad news about injured closer Jeremy Affeldt, who could miss two months with partially torn muscles in his rib cage. He was hurt on Saturday.

    "It's tough. It's a tough break for Jeremy and a tough break for our ballclub," Pena said.

    Rolen was 3-for-4 with an RBI single in the eighth. He also triggered a roar from the crowd in the eighth when he knocked both shortstop Angel Berroa and second baseman Tony Graffanino to the ground while trying to break up a double play.

    The 240-pound Rolen, who managed to keep his feet while sending the Royals sprawling, had been hit by a pitch in the third and nearly hit on a pickoff attempt at first.

    "He was an aggravated player at that point," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said.

    Jason Marquis (7-4) labored through five innings for his sixth win in eight starts. Working out of bases-loaded jams in the first and fifth, he was charged with three runs on seven hits, with one walk and four strikeouts.

    The Cardinals scored three times off Jimmy Gobble (4-5) in the third on Matheny's two-run single and a sacrifice fly by Taguchi. Sanders and Luna each had an RBI single in the third.

    "They made quality swings on what I thought were quality pitches," said Gobble, who gave up eight hits and seven runs in 4 1-3 innings. "You just have to tip your hat to them."

    Matheny's two-run single keyed a four-run fifth for the Cardinals, who also got an RBI grounder from Taguchi and a run-scoring single by Sanders.

    "We're playing good Cardinals baseball, the kind of baseball this organization has stressed for 100 years. I hope that's true come October," La Russa said.

    The Royals loaded the bases with none out in the fourth. Dee Brown's sacrifice fly brought in one run, and another scored when shortstop Renteria bobbled Alberto Castillo's grounder for an error. Graffanino's RBI single made it 5-3.

    The Royals failed to score after loading the bases in the first and fifth, and they stranded 10 runners. In a 3-1 loss Saturday night, they stranded 12.

    Game notes

    Rain caused a 59-minute delay before the start of the game. ... The Royals have used five catchers in seven games since Benito Santiago went on the disabled list with a broken hand. ... The Royals recalled RHP Justin Huisman from Triple-A Omaha to take Affeldt's place. ... Royals bench coach Bob Scheafer was ejected by plate umpire Jim Reynolds in the fourth. ... Royals DH Ken Harvey was hit by a pitch in the first inning and replaced by Joe Randa when he next batted in the third. Pena said it was not serious. ... The Cardinals' June record of 18-6 is their best June since going 20-7 in 1993.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press