Home sweet home seemed to be the sentiment of the evening for Jeff Francis, as he finally picked up his first Royals victory Friday evening, taking on the St. Louis Cardinals. After pitching solely in the NL for the Colorado Rockies, Francis moved on to Kansas City this season and was 0-5 so far, despite having some outings worthy of a win.
Francis tossed 7 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball, scattering six hits. He also struck out six, while walking just two. With the victory he improved to 1-5, lowering his ERA to 4.23
Chris Carpenter was dealing for the Cardinals on Friday evening as well, cruising through the first six innings before the Royals bottom of the order came through clutch in the seventh. After Billy Butler singled and Wilson Betemit doubled, Brayan Pena hit a sacrifice fly scoring Butler for the first run of the evening. Alcides Escobar then singled, scoring Betemit and knocking Carpenter from the game. Carpenter finished giving up three runs on nine hits as he fell to 1-4 with the loss. Carpenter had been charged with a third run after the Royals added one more later in the inning against reliever Trever Miller.
Aaron Crow walked Albert Pujols and struck out Matt Holliday to end the eighth, and Joakim Soria looked dominant in the ninth, picking up his seventh save.
Best quote of the evening may have been Butler, who on the post game show said, "There was a lot of red out there, and I'm glad we could disappoint them tonight". That line was in reference to the many Cardinals fan who were in the stands.
Kansas City evens their record at 22-22, while the Cardinals fall to 26-20. The boxscore can be viewed here. The Royals will be looking for their third win a row Saturday afternoon as Nathan Adcock (1-0 2.16 ERA) will be starting his first game for Kansas City, facing Jake Westbrook (3-3 6.07).
Gametime tommorow is 1:10, televised on Fox Sports Kansas City.