ST. LOUIS (AP) — Paul DeJong drove in three runs in his second game back from battling COVID-19 and Jack Flaherty tossed five shutout innings to help the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Kansas City Royals 9-3 Monday.
Paul Goldschmidt homered and also drove in three for the Cardinals, who have won four of five.
Flaherty (2-0), in just his second start in 30 days, allowed one hit in a 64-pitch effort. He struck out three and did not walk a batter.
“He made it look easy,” St. Louis manager Mike Shildt said.
Flaherty went just 1 2-3 innings in a 9-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday. It was the shortest start of his career.
The Cardinals were off 17 days earlier this season after the team was struck by a virus outbreak. St. Louis is 8-5 since the extended break.
“We all try and do our jobs and let the results be what they are,” Goldschmidt said. ”We have to keep it going.”
Brad Keller (3-1) had not permitted run in his first three starts this season, covering 17 2/3 innings. That string was halted by DeJong’s sacrifice fly in the first.
Keller left in the fifth after giving up three singles and a walk to begin the inning.
“Obviously, I didn’t have my best stuff,” Keller said. “Every at-bat was a battle.”
Reliever Greg Holland allowed two-run doubles by DeJong and Dexter Fowler that made it 6-0. DeJong was 0 for 4 on Sunday against Cincinnati in his first game since June 29.
Jorge Soler hit his seventh homer of the season for the Royals, a three-run shot in the sixth inning off Alex Reyes.
Brad Miller had three hits and reached base four times for St. Louis, which has won 12 of the last 15 games between the cross-state rivals.
Kansas City has lost four of five.
“We had trouble putting anything together,” Kansas City manager Mike Matheny said. “Any kind of pressure.”
Matheny spent five-plus seasons guiding the Cardinals to a 591-474 record from 2012-2018. A catcher, he played for the Cardinals 2000-2004.
Royals: LHP Danny Duffy has been scratched from his scheduled start on Wednesday due to left forearm fatigue. Matheny indicated that he will use either RHP Jakob Junis or an opener in the contest. Junis has been slowed by back spasms.
Cardinals: RHP Carlos Martinez threw batting practice against teammates on Monday. Martinez is battling back from COIVD-19. He will return as a starter.
Kansas City RHP Matt Harvey (0-1, 9.00) will face RHP Adam Wainwright (2-0, 2.00) in the second of a three-game series on Tuesday. Harvey will be making his second start for the Royals. He allowed three runs over three innings in a 5-0 loss to Cincinnati on Wednesday. Wainwright is 5-2 with a 3.84 ERA in nine career starts against the Royals.