ARLINGTON, Texas — Mikes Mikolas returned to the ballpark in Arlington on Friday night and pitched much the same way that he did the last time he started a game there nearly five years ago.
That wasn’t good news for the Cardinals.
Mikolas failed to get out of the second inning, recording only four outs, and gave up seven runs on eight hits in the second as the Cardinals lost their third game in a row and fell to 4-12 so far in May.
It was the first start in Arlington for Mikolas since he pitched for the Rangers on Aug. 13, 2014, and gave up 10 runs in six innings against Tampa Bay. He started four games that year for the Rangers at the ballpark and went 0-4 with a 13.73 ERA.
It was the shortest outing in 52 career starts in the majors for Mikolas, who had allowed a total of seven runs combined in his last four starts, covering 25 innings.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: Because Jose Martinez was used as the designated hitter, Harrison Bader got the start in center field and had three of the Cardinals’ nine hits. He singled and scored in the third, singled again in the seventh and hit his fourth homer of the year in the ninth … Matt Carpenter also singled and scored in the third as the two runs in the inning scored on an error and a fielder’s choice grounder … For the third game in a row, the Cardinals failed to get a hit with a runner in scoring position, going 0-of-6. They are now a combined 0-of-16 in the three consecutive losses.
On the mound: Mikolas lasted only one out more than the “opener” for the Rangers, who was scheduled to only pitch the first inning. He threw 45 pitches, giving up a total of nine hits and also hit a batter … The seven runs were the most allowed by the Cardinals in an inning this season … After Mikolas left, relievers Giovanny Gallegos, Tyler Webb, John Brebbia and Andrew Miller combined allowed only two hits over the final 6 2/3 innings, both off Brebbia … Webb retired all eight hitters he faced, striking out five.
Key stat: The starting rotation is now a combined 4-9 in May, with two of the wins coming from Mikolas. In the 16 games so far this month the rotation has a combined ERA of 4.78 (46 earned runs in 86 2/3 innings). The starters have averaged just over 5 1/3 innings per start this month.
Worth noting: The Cardinals made a series of moves before the game, reshaping their bullpen. Carlos Martinez was activated from the injured list, Ryan Helsley was recalled from Memphis, Dominic Leone was optioned to Memphis and Luke Gregerson was designated for assignment. Gregerson pitched a combined 18 1/3 innings after signing a two-year, $11 million contract. He pitched in a total of 22 games with no record, no saves and a 7.36 ERA … Also at Memphis, left-hander Austin Gomber was placed on the seven-day injured list on Friday because of a biceps strain … The Cardinals have now lost seven games in a row to the Rangers, dating back to 2013 … The Cardinals will be the opponent next March when the Rangers open their new stadium. The two teams will play an exhibition game on March 23 after the Cardinals leave spring training in Florida.
Looking ahead: Dakota Hudson will get the start on Saturday in the second game of this series.