By EARL WATT
• Leader & Times
For the first time since 2011, the Royals are not in first place in the Liberal Cal Ripken League standings.
After reeling off 14 straight wins, the Royals finally lost, and it wasn’t even close.
The A’s took advantage of a short-handed Royals roster and scored eight runs in the first inning to knock off the Royals 17-2 Saturday at Rosel Field.
That loss coupled with a Cardinal win dropped the Royals a half-game behind, although the Royals are still tied in the loss column.
For the Cardinals to move to the top required a narrow win that avoided back-to-back losses for the Cards.
Friday, Cesar Burciaga struck out 11 Cardinals to lift the Rockies to a 12-11 win over the Cardinals in seven innings.
Saturday, the Cardinals had to survive another one-run game, and this time they were on the winning side.
The Cardinals jumped out to a 5-0 lead over the White Sox in the third inning and had to hold on as the White Sox rallied to score the next four runs.
Brody Sumner sparked the White Sox comeback with a double in the fourth and a triple in the fifth, to bring the White Sox to within one run.
Xavier Perez had two extra-base hits for the Cardinals, and Braxton Hyde earned the win for the Cardinals on the mound.
Tonight, the White Sox will look to keep pace at the top of the standings while the Tigers will try to get their first win of the season.