Gomber pitches playoff-hunting Cards to 5-0 win over Royals
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Austin Gomber tossed six innings of four-hit ball in a crucial spot start and St. Louis capitalized on some erratic pitching from Brady Singer, beating the Kansas City Royals 5-0 on Tuesday night.
The Cardinals, who trail the Chicago Cubs by 3 1/2 games in the NL Central, improved to 27-25 by evening their series with their cross-state rivals. They also built the slightest cushion in the race for the No. 2 spot in the division after Milwaukee (28-28) eked out a win over Cincinnati (27-27) earlier in the evening.
Gomber (1-1), who dealt with biceps tendinitis throughout last season, earned his first win since beating Atlanta on Sept. 18, 2018. He struck out three without a walk while blanking an opponent for the 11th time in 13 appearances.
Dylan Carlson had two RBIs while finishing a homer shy of the cycle. Brad Miller, Tommy Edman and Kolten Wong also drove in runs as the Cardinals, who are playing a brutal finishing stretch after an early outbreak of COVID-19 ransacked their schedule, took another weary step toward their second straight postseason appearance.
Singer, who carried a 14-inning scoreless streak into the game, had trouble finding the plate all night. He walked two in the first inning, then walked the first two batters of the second, when Carlson’s double brought them home. Wong made it 3-0 later in the inning.
Singer (3-5) wound up walking five in three-plus innings, throwing just 44 of 81 pitches for strikes.
That led to an ugly ending to the 50th birthday of Royals manager Mike Matheny, who took umbrage with what he thought was the squeezing of his young pitcher by plate umpire Manny Gonzalez. Matheny expressed his displeasure while making a pitching change in the fourth inning and was immediately tossed from the game.
With no fans in the ballpark, Matheny’s rising voice could be heard all the way into the upper deck.