Adams' homer lifts Cardinals over Brewers
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Matt Adams had a two-run home run and the Cardinals broke open a tight game with four in the eighth to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-1 on Wednesday night.
The Cardinals won their fifth consecutive game to maintain a one-game lead over Pittsburgh and a three-game advantage on Cincinnati in the NL Central. The Pirates finished a three-game sweep at Texas and the Reds knocked off the Chicago Cubs earlier in the day.
Milwaukee has lost three of five.
Brandon Kintzler gave up three runs on two hits and a walk while only getting two outs.
Carlos Beltran's sacrifice fly off Michael Gonzalez scored Matt Carpenter to give the Cardinals a 2-1 lead. An error by catcher Jonathan Lucroy allowed Jon Jay to score and Adams followed with his 12th homer of the season.
Trevor Rosenthal had a hitless eighth inning for the win.
Gordon, Shields lead Royals past Indians 6-2
CLEVELAND (AP) — Alex Gordon homered on the game's first pitch, James Shields dominated after a shaky first inning, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Cleveland Indians 6-2 on Wednesday in a matchup of teams fighting for an American League playoff spot.
Kansas City took two of three in the series between clubs that are in contention for the second wild card spot in the AL. The Royals, who entered Wednesday trailing Tampa Bay by three games, moved a game closer to the Indians. Cleveland was 1½ games behind the Rays.
The Royals had a home run, a triple and a single on the game's first seven pitches to take a 2-0 lead. Kansas City added a run in the first inning.
Shields gave up two runs, two hits, and hit a batter in the bottom half before taking control.
Cardinals C Molina out because of family situation
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina is not available against the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday night because of what St. Louis manager Mike Matheny called "a family situation."
Molina and his brother, assistant hitting coach Bengie Molina, were not at the stadium at the start of the game.
Yadier Molina is hitting .318 with 11 home runs and 65 RBIs in 120 games.
Matheny did not indicate when Molina will return.
Rams coach Fisher squelches rumors of USC job
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher squelched talk he might be in line to be the next coach at Southern California, where he played in college.
After practice Wednesday, Fisher called the speculation "absurd." He joked when first asked about USC whether that meant South Carolina.
Fisher is in the second year of a five-year contract with the Rams, who won the season opener for the first time since 2006.
USC coach Lane Kiffin is feeling pressure after a 10-7 loss to Washington State. Kiffin is in his fourth season at USC (1-1), which was knocked out of the Top 25 after getting held to 198 yards.
Chiefs' Charles expected to play Sunday vs Cowboys
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles is expected to be available for Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys after bruising his quad in last weekend's win at Jacksonville.
Charles ran for 77 yards and a touchdown before hurting his quad in the second half of a 28-2 rout of the Jaguars. He went to the locker room, then returned to the field for one play, before coach Andy Reid decided to give him the rest of the afternoon off.
Reid said that Charles participated in a walkthrough Wednesday morning and he "might do a little bit" during the Chiefs' afternoon practice. Reid said that "we're just taking it slow, but I think he'll be OK for the game."
Charles missed time in the preseason with a strained foot.
Cowboys, Chiefs renewing rivalry at Arrowhead
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — One of the first things Cowboys owner Jerry Jones did when he awoke Wednesday was to take a good look at the little wooden trophy topped by an odd street sign sitting among the many awards and memorabilia in his Dallas-area home.
It's called the "Preston Road Trophy," dreamed up by his longtime friend and the late Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt, and named after the street on which they once lived just 300 yards apart.
Ever since the late-1990s, the trophy has been presented to the winning side on the rare occasions that Dallas plays Kansas City. Jones has had the trophy since 2005.
Hunt's son, current Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt, called it "the smallest and ugliest trophy in sports," and one he wants to win badly on Sunday.
Falcons rookie corners hold up fine in 1st test
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — For Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford, there was no time for a leisurely transition to the NFL.
They had to step up right away.
For one game, at least, the Atlanta Falcons are pleased with what they got from their rookie cornerbacks.
Trufant and Alford hardly looked overmatched, even though they were going against Drew Brees and the high-powered New Orleans Saints. Now, it's on to Week 2 against Sam Bradford and the St. Louis Rams, who are looking to go 2-0.
Trufant says he's "got a lot to improve on," but the Falcons held the Saints in check about as well as could be expected. Alford had an interception and broke up two passes. Trufant broke up a pass. Offensive problems were largely to blame for the 23-17 loss.
Blues D Pietrangelo waits for deal as camp opens
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Blues opened training camp without restricted free-agent defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, who is waiting for a new contract.
Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said Wednesday that discussions between the team and Pietrangelo's agent have reached an impasse "for now."
The 23-year-old Pietrangelo, the No. 4 pick in the 2008 draft, has been part of St. Louis' top defensive pairing the last three seasons. He is also the Blues' top scoring threat on the back line.
Pietrangelo had five goals and 19 assists in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. He had 12 goals, 51 points and a plus-16 rating in the 2011-12 campaign.
A total of 53 players are expected to participate in camp with practices beginning on Thursday.