EditorsNote: updates third graf to reflect Rockies’ win
Right-hander Miles Mikolas allowed just two hits in seven innings en route to his 17th win and Jose Martinez highlighted a five-run sixth inning with a two-run double Sunday afternoon, allowing the St. Louis Cardinals to sweep a three-game series from the San Francisco Giants with a 9-2 victory in St. Louis.
The win, coupled with Milwaukee’s 13-6 triumph at Pittsburgh, sets up a three-game battle for second place in the National League Central between the Brewers (89-67) and the Cardinals (87-69) in St. Louis beginning Monday.
The Brewers and Cardinals will begin the series residing in the two NL wild-card spots, with Milwaukee holding a two-game advantage. The Colorado Rockies (85-70) are 1 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the second wild card after their 2-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.
The loss was the Giants’ fourth straight. They completed their road schedule with a 31-50 record, the ninth time in franchise history that they’ve lost 50 or more road games in a season.
Still, it was a five-game improvement over last year’s 26-55 road record.
Run-scoring singles by Yairo Munoz and Mikolas had given St. Louis a 2-0 lead against Giants rookie left-hander Andrew Suarez (7-12) before the Cardinals roughed up the San Francisco bullpen in the sixth.
Harrison Bader and Munoz drove in runs to make it 4-0 before Martinez connected on his second double of the day with two outs. Paul DeJong followed with an RBI single that made it 7-0.
Mikolas (17-4) took a one-hit shutout into the seventh before an error and two-run homer by Brandon Crawford, his 14th of the season, ended his bid.
He went on to complete seven innings, charged with two runs, only one of which was earned. He struck out eight and did not walk a batter.
Suarez gave up two runs and six hits in his five innings. He walked one and struck out five.
Matt Carpenter completed the game’s scoring with a two-run home run off the sixth Giants pitcher, Casey Kelly, in the eighth. The homer was Carpenter’s 36th of the season.
Martinez, Munoz, Bader and Yadier Molina had two hits apiece for the Cardinals, who won their third straight and sixth in their last seven games.
The Giants (72-84) totaled just five hits in losing for the fifth time in seven matchups with the Cardinals this season.
—Field Level Media