Royals shut Cardinals out after carrying a perfect game into the eighth

Kansas City Royals' Salvador Perez (13) is helped up by teammate Michael Massey (19) after...
Kansas City Royals' Salvador Perez (13) is helped up by teammate Michael Massey (19) after scoring as St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright, right, walks past during the fifth inning of a baseball game Monday, May 29, 2023, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)(Jeff Roberson | AP)
Published: May. 29, 2023 at 9:04 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - When Mike Mayers made his Major League debut at Busch Stadium in July 2016, he endured one of the shortest starts by a pitcher making his MLB debut in the history of the league.

Monday at Busch Stadium, Mayers stepped on the mound as a visiting pitcher behind Royals opener Josh Staumont and nearly put himself into the history books for a much more positive reason.

Mayers delivered six consecutive perfect innings as he and Staumont combined to carry a no-hitter into the eighth inning against the Cardinals. Nolan Arenado broke up Kansas City’s bid for the first combined perfect game in MLB history with a base hit to lead off the bottom of the eighth inning, but the swing didn’t spark a rally for the Cardinals, who fell to the Royals 7-0 on a beautiful Memorial Day afternoon.

Aside from Arenado’s knock, Willson Contreras broke out of an 0-for-27 slump—the equivalent of a no-hitter’s worth of at-bats. But the Cardinals didn’t muster another hit for the remainder of the contest.

Adam Wainwright again fell short of his own expectations as he described the continuation of a period of play where batted balls against him have seemed to find the holes in the defense regardless of the quality of the contact.

“I’m in one of those funks right now where balls put in play are hits,” Wainwright said. “Baseball is a crazy game like that. It goes in stages. You’ve got to keep executing, make your pitches, and usually that’ll turn around.”

Wainwright allowed nine hits in five innings Monday, permitting three earned runs while striking out a season-high six batters. Through five starts, the veteran starter carries a 6.15 ERA on the season.

“I’m trying to look at a big-picture view, here,” Wainwright said. “The little moments, I’m not winning right now. The probably three pitches a game that sway you to having a 2.00 ERA instead of a 6.00. It’s really only three or four pitches a game. And I’m losing all of those, right now. Those kinds of things, if I continue with my process, continue working, those things change.”

Tuesday will mark the Cardinals’ 19th game in 19 days, a grueling stretch of the calendar that has gained some attention surrounding a team that seemed to be running on fumes Monday.

“Day game, travel, day game, and it showed,” Cardinals manager Oli Marmol said. “Guys are at 18 in a row. You can see it. You can feel it. No excuse. But they’re playing through it. Today it showed. It was hard to get anything going offensively.”