PITTSBURGH — It was a lost weekend for the Cardinals in Pittsburgh.
Miles Mikolas allowed two runs in the first inning and his teammates could not overcome that early deficit on Sunday as the Pirates completed a sweep of the three-game series.
The Cardinals fell back to 10 games below .500 at 25-35, the first time they have had that record 60 games into a season since 1995.
Here is how Sunday’s game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals only run came on a two-out homer by Andrew Knizner in the seventh inning, only their third hit off 43-year-old Rich Hill. Tommy Edman led off the game with a double and Luken Baker singled in his first career at-bat in the second, but Hill retired 11 batters in a row before Knizner’s homer … They did get the potential tying run on base in the ninth when Baker delivered his second hit, but Jordan Walker flew out and Knizner struck out to end the game … The Cardinals had just five hits, two by Edman.
On the mound: Mikolas allowed hits to four of the first six hitters he faced in the game, producing the two Pirates runs. The Pirates had at least one runner on base in all of the five innings that Mikolas pitched as he stranded eight runners … Genesis Cabrera and Jordan Hicks combined to shut out the Pirates over the final four innings, allowing only one baserunner, a walk by Hicks in the seventh … The Cardinals had won the last five games started by Mikolas and he lost for the first time in 11 starts dating back to April 5.
Key stat: The Cardinals were 0-of-6 with runners in scoring position and for the three games were a combined 3-of-20.
Worth noting: Baker was promoted from Memphis and inserted into the starting lineup as the DH, going 2-of-4. The Cardinals designated Tres Barrera for assignment to open spots on the 25- and 40-man roster … The last time the Cardinals lost a game to a 43-year-old starter was against Bartolo Colon in 2016 … The Cardinals saw their record in one-run games fall to 6-13.
Looking ahead: The road trip will continue on Monday night in Texas, with Adam Wainwright getting the start in the opener of the three-game series against the Rangers.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains