- Associated Press - Saturday, June 13, 2015

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Earlier in his career, Ned Yost might have been tempted to tinker with the lineup.

The Kansas City Royals manager is remembering lessons learned from mentor Bobby Cox, and he’s staying the course with an offense that’s scuffling.

“A lot of times what makes slumps worse is when coaching staffs and managers panic and start trying to push buttons to make things happen,” Yost said after a 3-2 loss to the cross-state rival St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday.

“We know we’ve got a really good offensive team and we know we’re going to go through ups and we’re going to go through downs.”

Yost was a long-time coach under Cox, a Hall of Fame manager. He said Cox’s philosophy was when he was ready to switch things up, wait another week.

Yost has waited a lot longer, considering the Royals have scored two or fewer runs in 12 of the last 17 games.

“He created continuity, he created consistency and confidence,” Yost said. “Nine-and-a-half times out of 10 times by the end of that week, everything was back to normal and firing on all cylinders.”

Call-up Tyler Lyons had a solid outing and Mark Reynolds hit the go-ahead homer in the fifth for the Cardinals, who have won the first two games of the interleague series by holding the Royals to two runs and 10 hits.

Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez homered for the Royals, who took two of three from the Cardinals at home last month and will be trying to avoid a sweep in the finale.

“Our offense really hasn’t been doing a whole lot lately, so you’ve got to put some of that on us,” Gordon said. “We’ve got to get the job done a little bit better.”

Matt Carpenter and Jason Heyward each added an RBI for St. Louis, which is a major league-best 41-21 overall and 24-7 at home. The Cardinals used five relievers over the last four innings to hold a one-run lead with Trevor Rosenthal getting the last four outs for his league-leading 21st save in 22 chances.

The Royals’ eighth did not lack for dramatics. Heyward battled the sun to snare Kendrys Morales’ liner while falling on his backside and Rosenthal rallied from a 3-0 count to get Gordon on an infield popup with two on for the third out.

The first two games were sellouts, giving the Cardinals 13 on the year. Most of announced attendance of 45, 981 stuck around after a 24-minute rain delay before the top of the sixth.

Lyons (1-0) allowed two runs and three hits. He failed to make an impression in three starts earlier in the year in place of injured Adam Wainwright, entering with a 5.54 ERA, but fared much better replacing injured Lance Lynn.

Gordon’s eighth homer gave the Royals the lead in the second and Perez tied it at 2 with his 10th homer in the fourth.

The Cardinals scored two runs on five hits in the third, a rally that began with Kolten Wong’s leadoff triple. Reynolds’ fourth homer, in the fifth off Jeremy Guthrie (4-4), snapped a 2-all tie.

Guthrie gave up three runs and 10 hits in five innings.


Royals: LHP Jason Vargas (forearm strain) was placed on the 15-day DL.


Chris Young moves up a day to start the series finale for Kansas City. He took a no-hitter into the seventh his last time out. John Lackey is 6-1 with a 2.02 ERA in 11 career starts at Busch Stadium, including 4-1 with a 1.73 ERA this year.


Both teams played the infield in with a man on third and one out in the first and didn’t get burned. The Cardinals clicked again in the sixth, helping to preserve the lead, when Matt Belisle got Salvador Perez on a broken-bat groundout.


Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said Lynn was the pitcher who had made the most improvement at the plate “by far - mostly because he couldn’t have gotten much worse.” Lynn is batting .182 with one RBI after entering the year a career .065 hitter.

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