The Cardinals bow to the Royals

The Kansas City Royals had lost 17 of their last 24 interleague games against the Cardinals over the past five seasons, but they made amends by scoring five in the first inning Tuesday night off right-hander Brad Thompson.

Third baseman Scott Rolen muffed two balls, one a harder chance than the other, to keep the inning alive, and left fielder Chris Duncan dived for but missed badly on a ball in the corner that went for a triple.

Manager Tony La Russa said, "It's not like (Thompson) pitched well in that inning. Based on the contact they made, it should have been something less than they got. But if it had been us, we'd have taken it."

Thompson was visibly upset with his performance and the general tenor of the inning. At one point, he fired the resin bag to the ground, and after finally getting the third out, he marched off the field and into the runway behind the dugout with pitching coach Dave Duncan in pursuit to try to calm him down.

"It isn't an easy task," Thompson said, although Duncan said that Thompson was "doing a better job of it."

"(Thompson) is a bottom-line guy," La Russa said. "When he sees five (runs) up there, he's not really cutting himself a lot of slack."

Thompson admitted, "That could easily have been a no-run first inning. But that's how it is. Balls take little bounces and you've got to try to battle back. That's something I didn't do a very good job of.

"You could say some balls were hit wherever, but I hit two guys and I walked a guy. That's going to kill me."

The Cardinals had won five of Thompson's first six starts, but he was gone after 4 1/3 innings Tuesday. In the Cardinals' last seven games, their starters have worked only 36 1/3 innings and given up 32 runs, 31 of them earned.

After the game, Thompson was only slightly less angry than he had been during the game.

"I can't remember the last time I've been this frustrated," he said. "I'm going to go try to find a puppy and kick it, pretty much.

"I can't let my anger take control of me and make me make worse mistakes. I've definitely got to learn to control myself a bit."

ROYALS 8, CARDINALS 1: Right-hander Brad Thompson lost for just the second time in seven starts since coming out of the bullpen and lasted only 4 1/3 innings, his shortest outing of the season. The Cardinals, who have dropped 34 games overall, lost for the 22nd time by four or more runs. They avoided a shutout in the ninth when Ryan Ludwick, 6-for-11 as a pinch hitter, walloped a 430-foot homer.

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