Salvador Perez homered in both games and MJ Melendez added a solo shot in the nightcap to help the Kansas City Royals sweep the St. Louis Cardinals inday-night doubleheader on Wednesday.

After the 6-4 and 8-5 losses, Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol spoke out on St. Louis' performance, per Bally Sports Midwest:

Said the Cardinals skipper, “This one ticks me off a little bit. But we've been playing good baseball. … You're allowed to have a day in that ‘pen where you give up a couple runs. It doesn't happen very often. They've been the reason we've been able to get back to where we're at today.”

Michael Wacha went five innings for the victory in the second game. He pitched seven seasons in St. Louis (2013-2019) and was the MVP of the 2013 NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Since May 11, the Cardinals had gone 33-18 to climb back into shouting distance of the first-place Milwaukee Brewers. St. Louis now sits 5.5 games back after their two losses on Wednesday.

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St. Louis Cardinals third base Nolan Arenado (28) lines out during the sixth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park.
© Daniel Kucin Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Despite a mediocre offense and struggling rotation, the Cardinals remain in the NL Wild Card race. On top of that, three important players are on the verge or have returned from injuries – Lars Nootbar, Tommy Edman, and Ivan Herrera. The production St. Louis gets out of these three will impact what direction they will go on July 30th.

Maybe the biggest offensive issue for the Cardinals are the struggles of veterans Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt. While Arenado is slashing .266, he has just seven home runs. As for Goldschmidt, he's batting .229 with 12 homers. Not good enough from either star. On top of that, Jordan Walker, who showed promise last season, is down in Triple-A and showing no signs of turning things around.

The Cardinals rank 19th in the big leagues in runs scored with only 4.1 per game. They're also just 16th in average, 18th in OBP, and 19th in slugging. St. Louis has only slugged 84 home runs, as well.

The rotation is on the older side, as well. While the staff as a whole owns a 3.91 ERA, the starters aren't the most consistent. Sonny Gray and Kyle Gibson have ERAs below 4.00, but Miles Mikolas and Lance Lynn have been disappointing. Andre Pallante has been a breath of fresh air though, and Steven Matz could be back in August. He was brutal before going on the shelf, racking up a 6.18 ERA in six starts.

Even though the numbers aren't good, it's actually impressive that St. Louis remains in the postseason mix.