After wasting leads in the 9th and 10th, the Kanas City Royals secured a 3-2 victory over the Cardinals at St. Louis’ Busch Stadium on Wednesday night when Alcides Escobar hit a 12th-inning RBI double along the right-field foul line.

Alcides Escobar Doubles Home Whit Merrifield, Royals Beat Cardinals 3-2 In 12 Innings

The extra-innings win, the Royals’s fourth of the season, helped Kansas City retake the lead in the I-70 series.

Escobar’s go-ahead double bounced off the glove of sliding right-fielder Stephen Piscotty to plate  Whit Merrifield, who had doubled just ahead of Escobar, and give the Royals a 3-2 lead in the 12th. The shortstop had earlier put Kansas City up 1-0 with an eighth-inning sacrifice fly. That lead was lost with right-hander Wade Davis’ blown save in the ninth. Right-hander Joakim Soria blew another save opportunity in the 10th inning.

Royals manager Ned Yost praised Escobar and Merrifield after the game.


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“Whit with a huge hit to get into scoring position,” Yost said. “And Esky ended up doing what he does best, just poking the ball down the right-field line. He finds a way to get the ball in play.”

With two outs in the ninth, Cardinals shortstop Jhonny Peralta forced extra innings with an RBI single off Davis, who had previously converted 18 of his 19 save chances this year. The rally was set up by a leadoff walk and pinch-hit single.

Kansas City then saw another lead disappear in the 10th when Piscotty opened the frame with his ninth homer. The Royals had surged back in front in the top half of the inning by capitalizing on a pair of Cardinals errors.

“It’s just a good example of us fighting back,” said Piscotty, who was nursing a bruised left ankle after the game. “It’s something we’re going to continue to do all season long. You don’t always win them, but it’s great to get that effort.”

The Royals, who had left 11 on base through seven innings, loaded the bases with one out in the eighth. Escobar fouled off a tough 1-2 fastball on the outer edge, then hit the next pitch deep enough to right field.

“The sacrifice fly, I just tried to put it in play,” Escobar said. “The double, same thing. Got a slider and put it down the line.”

Both teams have now lost four of their last seven games.

The Royals challenged a hit-by-pitch ruling in the seventh. Originally, it was ruled that Cardinals shortstop Greg Garcia was hit by a pitch in the foot from Edinson Volquez. The call was overturned and Garcia eventually fouled out. The Royals reviewed a similar play in the ninth, arguing that Eric Hosmer was nicked in the foot by a pitch. They lost that challenge.

Reliever Chien-Ming Wang finished off the game with two scoreless innings, earning the victory and saving the Royals from what would have been a dispiriting loss.

The two teams will face off for the four-game series finale at Busch Stadium on Thursday night. The Royals (41-36, 2nd in AL Central) lead 2-1. Right-hander Chris Young (2-7, 6.54 ERA) takes the mound for Kansas City. Young gave up seven runs in 2 1/3 innings in his last start, one run shy of his career high.

Cardinals (40-37, 2nd in NL Central) right-hander Mike Leake (5-5, 4.25) will make his first career start against the Royals.

ST. LOUIS, MO – JUNE 29: Alcides Escobar #2 of the Kansas City Royals drives in the game-winning run with a double against the St. Louis Cardinals in the 12th inning at Busch Stadium on June 29, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

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