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Dakota Hudson twirled six innings of five-hit ball, and the Cardinals bullpen finished off a 6-0 victory Wednesday night for their second consecutive shutout of their cross-state rival and their eighth straight victory at Kauffman Stadium.

 

Hudson (11-6) allowed runners to reach every inning but the third, but he kept his poise and continued to get timely double-plays, groundballs and fly outs. Hudson struck out five and walked two as the Cardinals won for the 13th time in his last 16 starts.

 

Keller (7-13) issued three walks and was victimized by an early error but didn't allow a hit until Marcell Ozuna's sharp single leading off the seventh. It began a run of five consecutive base hits that not only knocked Keller from the game but ultimately resulted in a five-run frame. 

 

The Royals, who were blanked 2-0 on Tuesday night, never got a runner past second base. Cheslor Cuthbert grounded out to strand two in the first, Nicky Lopez stranded runners in the second and fifth, and Bubba Starling grounded out to leave Ryan O'Hearn standing on second base in the fourth.

 

The Cardinals were following a similar roadmap until Ozuna's single in the seventh.

 

DeJong and Matt Carpenter followed with hits to send Keller to the showers, and Yadier Molina and Kolten Wong followed with singles of their own. By the time Randy Arozarena singled for his first major league hit and Dexter Fowler hit a sacrifice fly, the Cardinals had taken a 5-0 lead.

 

DeJong added his mammoth homer in the eighth inning to put an exclamation mark on the win.

 

The Cardinals send Michael Wacha (6-5, 5.54 ERA) to the mound in the opener of a four-game series in Cincinnati on Thursday night. The Royals get the day off before Mike Montgomery starts against the New York Mets in the opener of a three-game set Friday night.

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