St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Miles Mikolas loses no-hitter in ninth place and “it kind of stinks not finishing”.


St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Miles Mikolas loses no-hitter in ninth place and "it kind of stinks not finishing".

ST. LOUIS — Miles Mikolas missed a strike for the St. Louis Cardinals against the Pittsburgh Pirates when Cal Mitchell doubled with two outs in the ninth inning Tuesday night.

Mitchell drove a 2-2 curveball just over the head of Gold Glove midfielder Harrison Bader. The ball bounced off the warning lane 383 feet from home plate and over the direct center wall for a ground-rule double.

“The curveball was pretty good all day and maybe I tried to tumble it a bit,” Mikolas said of the hit during his on-pitch interview after the game. “I left it upstairs for a bit. The guy swung it really well. He just kept going.”

The goal came in Mikolas’ 129th place, a career high. He was lifted right after for Packy Naughton, who finished in a 9-1 win over the Pirates in the second game of a doubleheader.

“I’m in the best shape of my life so that’s not a problem for me. Starters train for this all year round,” said Mikolas about overcoming 100 pitches. “Going the distance is always the goal.”

After the Mitchell double, Mikolas stood on the back of the mound and looked up at the sky as St. Louis coach Oliver Marmol stepped out of the dugout to replace him. Mikolas received a standing ovation as he left. He walked away with his head bowed, but looked up at the crowd as he approached the shelter steps and finally tipped his cap.

“Everyone in that dugout really wanted it for him,” Marmol said of Mikolas, who has struggled with injuries throughout his career. “There is a lot of perseverance in this story. To see him doing what he’s doing this year speaks volumes for his character.”

Mikolas struck six and walked one. Pittsburgh registered an unearned run in the fourth game to make it 7-1 when Bryan Reynolds scored on Daniel Vogelbach’s groundout.

Reynolds led from the inning and reached second base when left fielder Juan Yepez misplayed a fly ball for an error. Reynolds advanced to third with a groundout.

Cardinals second baseman Nolan Gorman made a jump stop in the fourth and a throw from the center of the diamond in the sixth to prevent potential hits.

Mikolas scored a 1-2-3 seventh on Jack Suwinski’s drive with the help of a nice catch from Bader at the midfield fence. Pittsburgh was also okay in eighth.

“It kind of stinks not finishing this. I mean I don’t have one yet and I have friends who do. It would have been nice to be part of that conversation,” Mikolas said of a no-hitter. “But I can’t say enough about our defense. We were everywhere we needed to be and made fantastic plays throughout the game. I feel like I let them down after all the defense I got.”

The most recent no-hitter for the Cardinals was thrown by rookie Bud Smith on September 3, 2001 in a 4-0 win over San Diego. Almost 21 years later, Mikolas found himself in the spotlight for a similar reason, though he did. I enjoy the quiet treatment he received.

“I kind of don’t like it,” he said. “I always try to talk to people during the game. And it kind of stinks when nobody wants to talk to me.”

Mikolas was attempting a third no-hitter in the majors this season. Tylor Megill and four New York Mets assists combined on April 29 against Philadelphia. Los Angeles Angels rookie Reid Detmers threw one against Tampa Bay on May 10.

St. Louis won the opener of the day-night doubleheader 3-1. The Cardinals now have three straight wins, are 10 games over .500 (37-27) and are 2.5 games ahead of the field in the National League Central.

“It’s about winning baseball. These guys are on all sides and they play really good baseball,” Marmol said. “There are so many little things that are impressive.”

Pittsburgh has lost nine straight games.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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