KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The deeper he gets into his first big league season, the better Mitchell Boggs seems to pitch.
Working his way out of some tough spots early, the rookie right-hander went six innings Saturday night, allowing four hits and one run and leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-1 victory over a Kansas City team that had won 11 of 12.Boggs (3-0) said his breaking pitch was actually better than in his first four starts."Absolutely," said Boggs, who walked four and struck out six. "It's been a little bit erratic my first couple of starts, not as consistent. Tonight it was better. It's something I'll continue to work on and build on."Rick Ankiel hit a two-run home run for a 4-0 lead over Kyle Davies in the sixth as the Cardinals beat the Royals for the first time in five games and halted KC's six-game winning streak.The Cardinals are 4-0 in the four starts the 24-year-old Boggs has made since being called up on June 6 from Triple-A Memphis."They're 4-0 when I start because they're killing the ball when I pitch," he said. "They're scoring a lot of runs when I pitch. I'm just going out there and trying to let the guys behind me play."A sellout crowd of 37,537, the biggest of the year in Kansas City, kept the stadium rocking. As always when the Cardinals come to town, a big percentage of the fans wore Cardinal red."Boggs came out and pitched well," said Royals outfielder Joey Gathright. "He kept us off balance for the most part. You've got to give him credit."The Royals had two errors which led to two unearned runs off Davies (3-1), who lost for the first time since he got the call from Triple-A Omaha on May 31."The first three innings, they were swinging at everything and I was getting quick outs and it was great," he said. "But I fell behind a couple of guys."Ankiel's home run was the 15th for the converted pitcher, who has hit in nine of his last 10 games."I didn't make the pitch," Davies said. "The pitch was up out over the plate and he hit it."Davies gave up seven hits and five runs, three earned, in 6 1/3 innings.According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Kansas City is the first team since the Oakland A's in 1994 to have a 12-game losing streak and a span of 11 wins in 12 games in the same season. The Royals' six-game winning streak was their longest since a 9-0 start to the 2003 season."Mitchell Boggs was pretty good," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "I try to be fair. The at-bats were not as strong as I would like for them to have been. But e was in command of a plus fastball, especially pitching inside on the plate. He located his breaking ball better than Kyle Davies did."Boggs was in trouble in the first when he gave up a walk and a single. But he got Jose Guillen to bounce into a double play."I was fortunate to get out of that unscathed because any time you walk guys to start innings, you're playing with fire," he said. "But the guys behind me made great plays and that allowed me to get into a little bit of a rhythm."He was replaced by Kyle McClellan when Mark Teahen walked and Miguel Olivo singled leading off the seventh. Ross Gload greeted him with an RBI double, but Olivo was cut down at the plate on a strong relay throw from shortstop Brendan Ryan.The Cardinals scored in the fourth inning on a potential double play grounder when shortstop Mike Aviles threw wildly to first. In the fifth, Chris Duncan had an RBI single.Ryan Ludwick was on third in the seventh inning when Ryan hit a sharp grounder to Aviles. He made a perfect throw to Olivo standing on home plate. But Ludwick came in standing up and knocked the ball out of his hand. The catcher drew the Royals' second error as the Cardinals scored their second unearned run.The Royals' interleague record dropped to 13-4, tied with Minnesota for best in the majors.
Before the game, longtime Royals scout and personnel director Art Stewart was inducted into the team's hall of fame. ... The Royals have clenched the season series over the Cardinals for the first time since 2001. ... The Royals' six-game streak was their longest since starting the 2003 season 9-0. ... St. Louis is 6-8 against the AL this year after going 6-9 in 2007. ... David DeJesus stretched his hitting streak to 13 games.