KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Michael Wacha figured he was walking a tightrope through the first five innings.
The Royals finally got to him in the sixth.
Kansas City scored three runs against the Cardinals' young starter, and St. Louis was unable to answer the rally over the final three innings.
The result was a 3-2 loss Thursday night that ended its string of eight straight wins at Kauffman Stadium.
"I made a lot of mistakes tonight, even early on that I got away with," Wacha said. "I just didn't have the command I needed to get out of there in that sixth inning. They just kept putting good at-bats together, started hitting my mistakes in that sixth."
Wacha (4-4) had only allowed two hits through the first five innings before Alcides Escobar started the Royals' rally with a double. Nori Aoki followed with an RBI double and Eric Hosmer hit a single through a drawn-in infield to knot the game 2-all.
Salvador Perez followed with another single to give Kansas City the lead.
"He had a good rhythm going, a good plan," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Wacha, who had been 2-0 with a 1.73 ERA in his past four starts.
"Then all of a sudden they were putting the ball in play and just couldn't get it at somebody."
Yordano Ventura was the beneficiary of the rally.
The right-hander returned from a sore elbow to keep the Royals in the game, pitching to contact and taking advantage of his defense. Ventura (3-5) lasted six innings before turning the game over to his bullpen, which shut out St. Louis the rest of the way.
Still, Greg Holland made it interesting in the ninth.
After Francisley Bueno and Wade Davis each threw a perfect inning, Oscar Taveras greeted Holland with a grounder toward second base that Omar Infante fielded deep in the hole and threw awkwardly to first. Umpire Dan Iassogna initially ruled the throw beat Taveras to the bag, but a video review showed that he was clearly safe.