(SportsNetwork.com) - Adam Wainwright will try to rebound from a rare rough outing on Wednesday night as the I-70 series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals shifts to Kauffman Stadium.
Wainwright was in dominating form for the bulk of May, posting back-to-back scoreless outings at one point, a span that included a one-hit shutout versus Arizona on May 20.
However, the Cardinals ace was roughed up by San Francisco on Friday, charged with seven runs on eight hits and a walk in a season-low 4 1/3 innings. Wainwright found himself in a 5-0 hole after two innings, a situation that surprised even Giants manager Bruce Bochy.
"The way he's been throwing you don't expect to score a lot of runs like that," Bochy said of Wainwright.
The 32-year-old righty fell to 8-3 on the season, while his earned run average jumped from 1.67 to 2.32.
Wainwright is 4-1 with a save lifetime against the Royals with a 3.21 ERA in nine games (6 starts).
While Wainwright struggled in his last outing, Royals left-hander Jason Vargas slowed down one of the hottest offenses in baseball.
Vargas has allowed two runs or fewer in four of his past five starts, with three wins in that span, and is coming off a 6-1 win over Toronto on Friday. The 31-year-old allowed just one run for a second outing in a row, scattering seven hits and three walks over six innings while striking out seven.
Vargas is 5-2 with a 3.39 ERA on the year and lifetime against the Cardinals holds a 1-1 record with a 5.14 ERA in three games (2 starts).
The Royals shut out the Cardinals to take the opener of this series on Monday, then rallied for an 8-7 triumph last night.
Down 4-0 after the second inning and trailing 7-6 going into the eighth, Alcides Escobar notched an RBI single to tie the game and set the stage for Eric Hosmer the following inning.
Hosmer followed Omar Infante's one-out double in the ninth with a single to left field off Trevor Rosenthal (0-3), and Infante beat Matt Holliday's off- target throw to the plate.
Alex Gordon belted a three-run homer to highlight a 13-hit attack for the Royals, who finished an efficient 6-for-11 with runners in scoring position to win for the fourth time in six games.
"We grinded our way to a win," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "It was a tough one."
St. Louis went 2-7 on a disappointing homestand despite receiving a grand slam by Kolten Wong and a solo homer from Peter Bourjos.
Wong's first career grand slam came in the second inning and snapped a string of 20 consecutive scoreless innings for the Cardinals, who still lost their third straight and for the sixth time in seven games.
"It came at a great time," Cards manager Mike Matheny said. "We needed that. It was a great spark."
Despite taking the first two contests of this four-game home-and-home set, the Royals have only beaten the Cardinals six times in the last 17 encounters. St. Louis won three of four in the series a season ago.