Major League Baseball
Preview
Kansas City at St. Louis
When: 1:15 PM ET, Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Where: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri

The Kansas City Royals hope to build off their second victory in 10 contests when they visit the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday afternoon in the rubber match of a three-game interleague series. Alex Gordon snapped out of a slump with a homer among three hits as the Royals halted a five-game losing streak against the neighbor Cardinals with a 5-1 victory Tuesday and earned their first win in four interleague contests.

Catcher Salvador Perez also went deep in the middle contest of the series and has seven homers in 28 games since starting the season on the disabled list for Kansas City, which scored more than three runs Tuesday for just the third time in 10 outings. Jake Junis, who leads the Royals with five victories, gets the call in the series finale while red-hot Michael Wacha makes his 10th start of the season for the Cardinals. St. Louis has lost six of its last 10 contests after going 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and leaving eight runners on base in Tuesday’s setback. Rookie Tyler O’Neill saw his three-game home run streak come to an end, but had a single Tuesday and has hit safely in five straight contests for the Cardinals (8-for-16, three homers, six RBIs).

TV: 1:15 p.m. ET, MLB Network, FS Kansas City, FS Midwest (St. Louis)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals RH Jake Junis (5-3, 3.15 ERA) vs. Cardinals RH Michael Wacha (5-1, 3.08)

Junis permitted two runs on seven hits and one walk over 5 1/3 innings to get the victory against the New York Yankees last Friday. The 25-year-old Illinois native allowed two or fewer runs in four of his last six outings and six of nine overall on the season, but has surrendered 11 homers - five in one game against the Chicago White Sox - across 56 1/3 innings overall. Junis faces the Cardinals for the first time in his career and is 2-0 with a 2.95 ERA in three interleague starts.

Wacha has given up two or fewer runs in six straight outings and won five consecutive decisions since opening the season with a loss to the New York Mets. The 26-year-old Texas A&M product held Philadelphia to two runs on five hits and two walks with eight strikeouts over six innings of a 12-4 victory last Friday. Jorge Soler is 4-for-7 with two homers against Wacha, who is 3-1 with a 2.81 ERA in five starts versus St. Louis and 5-6 with a 3.86 mark in 16 interleague appearances.

WALK-OFFS

1. St. Louis INF Yairo Munoz went 4-for-4 on Tuesday after starting his major league career with two hits in 20 at-bats.

2. Kansas City OF Jon Jay has hit safely in 13 of the last 14 games, going 21-of-61 during that stretch.

3. Cardinals INF Greg Garcia left Monday’s game with lower back tightness and is considered day-to-day after missing Tuesday’s contest.

PREDICTION: Cardinals 4, Royals 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Kansas City 15-33 W1 7-18 8-15 3-12 10-13 1-5 1-3
St. Louis 26-20 L1 15-10 11-10 5-5 14-7 3-4 4-4
Last Meeting
Kansas City St. Louis
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
5/22/18 KC 5 STL 1 .286 2 .845 .324 0 .666
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Kansas City A. Escobar .429 3 1.000
St. Louis M. Ozuna .714 5 1.464
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Kansas City A. Gordon 1 1 1
St. Louis M. Carpenter 1 2 1
Pitching ERA Avg K
Kansas City 3.71 .219 18
St. Louis 2.50 .313 18
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Kansas City J. Jay .293 54 .694
St. Louis J. Martinez .311 52 .855
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Kansas City M. Moustakas 10 27 31
St. Louis T. Pham 8 35 19
Pitching ERA Avg K
Kansas City 5.47 .255 332
St. Louis 3.43 .240 388