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Light-hitting Cardinals lose series to lowly Royals

Greg Holland’s recent struggles out of the bullpen have forced Matheny to rely heavily on Norris, who had not allowed a run in his previous five appearances.

Though Tommy Pham has gone hitless the past three games, he made an impact defensively. The center fielder robbed Jorge Soler of an extra-base hit in the seventh inning, covering 87 feet to make a leaping grab. Alex Gordon, the next Royals’ batter, singled up the middle. Had Pham not made the play on Soler, it likely would have led to a Royals lead.

Catcher Francisco Pena provided an offensive spark for the Cardinals, driving in a run with a second-inning double.