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Mikolas works 8 shutout innings, leads Cardinals to 2-1 victory over the Royals

The Cardinals have the next two days off in a scheduling quirk before opening a three-game series on Friday night in Pittsburgh.
Credit: AP
St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Miles Mikolas throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Tuesday, May 30, 2023, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

ST. LOUIS — Miles Mikolas became the first Cardinals starter to record an out in the eighth inning on Tuesday night, blanking the Royals over eight innings.

It was the fact that he didn’t get a chance to get an out in the ninth inning that almost cost the Cardinals the win at Busch Stadium.

After scoring a run off Aroldis Chapman in the bottom of the eighth, the first time that had happened since 2011, the Cardinals turned to Giovanny Gallegos in the ninth. He allowed a run but stranded the would-be tying run on second as the Cardinals hung on for the victory that ended their 19 games in 19 days stretch.

The team went 12-7 over that period and finished May with a 15-13 record for the month after going 10-19 in April.

Mikolas tied his career high with 10 strikeouts, allowing just three hits.

Here is how Tuesday night’s game broke down:

At the plate: The game was scoreless until the sixth. With out out, Paul Goldschmidt singled, only the third hit for the Cardinals, and scored on a two-out double by Nolan Arenado … In the eighth, Tommy Edman drew a leadoff walk against Chapman, stole second, took third on a single by Brendan Donovan and scored on a sacrifice fly by Nolan Gorman … Donovan’s hit was the first for the Cardinals with a runner in scoring position in four games, now a combined 1-of-19 with a man on second or third … They failed to score in the fifth when Alec Burleson, after a double and wild pitch, was on third with no outs but Zack Greinke retired Paul DeJong, Juan Yepez and Edman … DeJong was 0-of-3 and is now hitless in his last 23 at-bats.

On the mound: Mikolas hit the first batter of the game, then gave up a single but allowed only two more singles over the next seven innings. He was helped out by his defense in the fourth when Donovan, playing right field, threw out a runner at the plate to end the inning. Mikolas retired the final nine batters he faced, five by strikeouts, before leaving the game after 102 pitches … Gallegos allowed a double and single to the first two hitters he faced before Kansas City scored on a ground out. Gallegos retired the final two hitters on a fly out and strike out.

Key stat: The Cardinals have scored in only five of their last 36 innings over four games, but four of those times scored only one run, scoring a combined seven runs in the four games.

Worth noting: The last time the Cardinals scored a run off Chapman was on Sept. 2, 2011 on an RBI single by Rafael Furcal. They had faced him 31 times since, although only once since 2017 … When Donovan struck out in the sixth it snapped a streak of 31 consecutive plate appearances without striking out … The Cardinals improved to 5-16 when they do not hit a home run … They finished May with 44 home runs, just one shy of the franchise record for the month of 45 set in 2000, 13 of them by Mark McGwire … Jake Woodford made a rehab start for Memphis on Tuesday night, throwing 37 pitches over two innings.

Looking ahead: The Cardinals have the next two days off in a scheduling quirk before opening a three-game series on Friday night in Pittsburgh. That trip also includes a three-game stop in Texas.

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