EditorsNote: Changes throughout story, shortens headline
Miles Mikolas pitched six effective innings and won his fifth straight decision as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the visiting Milwaukee Brewers 7-2 Saturday night at Busch Stadium.
The latest solid showing by Mikolas helped the Cardinals win for the 14th time in 17 games. St. Louis also improved to 21-10 since interim manager Mike Shildt replaced Mike Matheny on July 15 and inched ahead of Milwaukee for the second wild-card spot.
Mikolas (13-3) improved to 5-0 in his last nine starts since a 5-1 loss to Atlanta on June 29 by allowing one run on five hits. He struck out seven without a walk and threw 62 of 91 pitches for strikes.
The right-hander allowed two runs or less for the ninth time in his last 11 starts. He also became the first Cardinals pitcher to reach 13 wins in the team’s first 123 games in his first season with the club since Kyle Lohse in 2008.
Mikolas allowed a solo homer to Travis Shaw to lead off the second but little else. His most significant trouble occurred in the sixth, when the Brewers had runners at second and third following a double by Lorenzo Cain and a single to Jesus Aguilar, who took second on a throwing error by right fielder Tyler O’Neill.
After the miscue, Mikolas fanned Shaw on three straight pitches and struck out pinch hitter Eric Thames with a full-count slider.
Marcell Ozuna hit a 450-foot homer in the second off Wade Miley (2-2), and O’Neill hit a go-ahead RBI single in the third.
Paul DeJong hit a two-run single later in the third inning, and rookie Harrison Bader roped a two-run triple in the sixth off Corey Knebel.
Mike Mayers struck out two in a scoreless seventh inning, and Chasen Shreve allowed a homer to Christian Yelich to start the eighth. Shreve got some defensive help as Bader made a diving catch on a sinking liner by Mike Moustakas to center field for the second out of the eighth.
Shreve ended the inning by fanning Aguilar, and Daniel Poncedeleon worked a hitless ninth after the Cardinals took a 7-2 lead on DeJong’s double.
DeJong drove in three runs for the fifth time this year and the second time against Milwaukee.
Miley allowed four runs on four hits in five innings as the Brewers lost for the eighth time in 11 games.
Both sides were warned in the first inning by plate umpire Cory Blaser.
Mikolas hit Lorenzo Cain with a fastball in the top of the inning, and Miley threw behind O’Neill in the bottom half. When Blaser warned Miley, Brewers manager Craig Counsell came out to argue and promptly was ejected.
—Field Level Media