Tino homers, collects four hits in victory


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Maybe Tino Martinez just needed to see
some American League pitching again.

Martinez raised his average 15 points to .246 and went 4-for-5
with a home run as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Kansas City
Royals 12-6 Friday night.

"I'm not really worried about my numbers right now,'' Martinez
said. "I'll work hard every day to the All-Star break and the rest
of the season, and whatever my numbers are going to be they'll

Martinez, a career .274 hitter in 10-plus seasons in the
American League, struggled since switching leagues.

"It doesn't matter where I'm playing,'' he said. "I've been
working hard to get my swing right, working on my mechanics.''

Albert Pujols doubled three times and drove in three runs for
the Cardinals, whose 12 runs were a season high.

Darryl Kile (4-3) went 5 1/3 innings, allowing three earned runs
on six hits. Kile is 3-0 with a 2.30 earned-run average in his past five starts.

Martinez led off the Cardinals' third with his seventh home run
and drove home Pujols with a single in the seventh.

Pujols, who went to high school and junior college in the Kansas
City area, doubled home a run in the first, doubled and scored in
the seventh and doubled home two more runs in the seventh.

"It is good to come to play to where I was drafted,'' Pujols
said. "I won't lie to you. It is good to perform when you've got a
lot of friends in the stands.''

Paul Byrd came in averaging an AL-best 1.4 walks per nine
innings. He walked Mike Matheny and Eduardo Perez on eight pitches
in the Cardinals' five-run second.

Byrd (8-4) gave up seven runs, five of which were earned, on 10
hits over six innings. He has allowed 12 earned runs in 9 2/3
innings, an 11.20 ERA, in losing his past two starts.

"I've got to figure out how not to give away the big inning,''
Byrd said. "I have to stop that and allow our offense a chance to
do what they've been doing all year.''

Rookie Brandon Berger, who was promoted Thursday from Class AAA
Omaha, hit two home runs, his first multi-homer game, and drove in
four of the Royals runs.

Berger came into the game when Mark Quinn strained his left
hamstring and possibly his upper left calf in the first while
chasing Pujols' double. Quinn is scheduled to have a MRI.

Berger hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth to cut
the Cardinals' lead to 6-3 and hit a bases-empty home run, his
third, off Kile in the sixth.

A.J. Hinch hit his fifth homer in the Royals' eighth.

Game notes
2B Carlos Febles was scratched from the Royals lineup with
a lower back strain. Luis Alicea replaced him. ... Cardinals SS
Edgar Renteria extended his hitting streak to six games. ... The
Cardinals tied a season high with 17 hits. ... The Cardinals
improved to 35-39 in interleague play.