Beltran, Lyons lead Cardinals past Royals, 4-1
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Carlos Beltran hit a two-run homer against his former team, rookie Tyler Lyons made another dazzling start and the St. Louis Cardinals beat Kansas City 4-1 on Tuesday night for the Royals' 10th consecutive home defeat.
The only two hits that Lyons allowed over seven innings were to Billy Butler — a two-out RBI double in the first inning and a bloop single in the seventh.
Otherwise, the left-hander shut down an anemic Kansas City offense to improve to 2-0 in his week-old major league career.
Trevor Rosenthal pitched the eighth inning in a driving rain for St. Louis, and Edward Mujica breezed through a perfect ninth for his 16th save of the season.
Matt Carpenter and Matt Holliday added solo homers in the sixth off the Royals' Ervin Santana (3-5) as the Cardinals (34-17) improved to a major league-best 20-9 on the road.
Cardinals to start prize rookie Wacha on Thursday
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals will promote top pitching prospect Michael Wacha to start in his major league debut Thursday against the Kansas City Royals.
The Cardinals lead the major leagues with a 33-17 record despite numerous injuries on the pitching staff. They filled rotation holes with less celebrated rookies John Gast and Tyler Lyons earlier in the season amid speculation they didn't want to start the service time clock on the 21-year-old right-hander.
The 6-foot-6, 210-pound Wacha was the Cardinals' first-round draft pick and the 19th overall selection last year out of Texas A&M. He's 4-0 with a 2.05 ERA that leads the Pacific Coast League in nine starts for Triple-A Memphis, holding opponents to a .187 batting average in his first pro season.
Wacha will be the eighth rookie pitcher to debut with the Cardinals this season. General manager John Mozeliak had cited Wacha's lack of professional experience in the decision to promote others earlier.
Blues re-sign Cole, Cracknell to deals
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Blues signed defenseman Ian Cole to a two-year contract and forward Adam Cracknell to a one-year deal.
The 24-year-old Cole was a first-round draft pick in 2007 but was used sparingly, appearing in 15 games and none after March 16. He's played in parts of three seasons.
The 27-year-old Cracknell became a regular on the checking line at the end of the season and played in five of six playoff games. In 20 regular-season games, 12 of them in the final month, he had two goals and four assists with a plus-3 rating.
The Blues announced the deals Tuesday.
Chiefs' involuntary workouts paying dividends
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs have begun their final week of voluntary workouts, though you wouldn't know they've been voluntary by the attendance.
Just about everyone has been at practice every day the past couple weeks.
No holdouts, no drama.
Instead, the Chiefs under new coach Andy Reid have been busily installing their offense and defense, getting acclimated with each other and preparing for next week's mandatory minicamp.
Not that it promises to be a whole lot different than organized team activities.
The Chiefs have already started to nail down potential starters at several positions, including on special teams. They've also uncovered a couple of projects, such as college hoops player-turned-tight end Demetrius Harris, who has a legitimate shot at making the team.
Sporting KC beats Des Moines 2-0
KANSAS CITY, Kansas (AP) — Sporting Kansas City advanced to the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup with a 2-0 win over the Des Moines Menace on Tuesday night.
Sporting will next host Orlando City on June 12.
Kei Kamara opened the scoring in the 12th minute off a cross from Chance Myers. Claudio Bieler doubled Sporting KC's lead in the 73rd minute when he spotted in a cross from Jacob Peterson.
The eighth minute saw Sporting's first chance when Kamara sent in a low cross to Myers, whose shot was blocked by defender Albert Edward. Four minutes later, Myers played the ball across the mouth of the goal to Kamara, who tapped it past goalkeeper Scott Angevine.
Sporting KC doubled the lead in the 73rd minute when Peterson crossed the ball from the right to Bieler, who coolly tapped it into the back of the net.
Ex-Jayhawks RB Miller gets second chance at KU
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Sophomore running back Darrian Miller, who was dismissed from Kansas following his freshman season, is getting another chance with the Jayhawks.
Kansas coach Charlie Weis said Tuesday that Miller signed a grant-in-aid to rejoin the program. He spent last season at Butler Community College but did not play football.
The high school career rushing leader in Missouri's largest class, Miller ran for 559 yards and four touchdowns as a freshman for former Kansas coach Turner Gill. He was dismissed after the season for unspecified off-the-field issues.
Miller said that "Coach Weis has given me a rare opportunity ... to make this right. I am truly thankful for this opportunity and I intend to make it right."
He joins a crowded Kansas backfield that includes James Sims and Tony Pierson.
Alabama's Saban calls for SEC to expand schedule
DESTIN, Fla. (AP) — Alabama coach Nick Saban has a strong — and seemingly solitary — stance on the Southeastern Conference potentially moving to a nine-game league schedule.
Saban says he would like to see the SEC expand from eight to nine games, an opinion that surely will draw debate and dissent during the league's annual spring meetings this week.
Saban is the only SEC coach to publicly call for increasing the number of league games. SEC presidents and chancellors could vote on the topic Friday.
Saban says he's "absolutely in the minority, but everybody has their reasons."
Having won three of the last four Bowl Championship Series national title games, Saban admits he should be against changing the current model.
Others are, including Georgia's Mark Richt, Vanderbilt's James Franklin and Mississippi's Hugh Freeze.