It was a pitcher’s duel at Great American on Thursday afternoon, with the game going down to the wire in a Cardinals’ 2-1 victory.
All-Stars Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, and Willson Contreras all enjoyed the game from the pine as they rested for the upcoming series against the Cleveland Guardians.
Miles Mikolas was stellar in his seven innings of work, allowing just five hits while punching out five.
Former Cardinal first-rounder Luke Weaver opposed him and went toe to toe with Mikolas into the sixth inning, where he was removed after allowing a single to Alec Burleson and plunking Juan Yepez.
The Cardinals’ defense was key in this matchup, as the shutout was preserved by a key grab in left by Juan Yepez.
Mikolas got into some trouble in the sixth inning, allowing runners to reach the corners before an outstanding play by Brendan Donovan to mow down the runner at home kept the Reds scoreless.
Paul DeJong stepped in to lead off the seventh when Cincinnati got their own game-saving play. Stuart Fairchild robbed the white-hot Cardinal shortstop of extra bases with a leaping catch at the wall.
St. Louis finally got the wheels turning in the eighth when Lars Nootbaar began the two-out magic with a single to right field. He advanced to second on a wild pitch by Lucas Sims and eventually scored on a double by Nolan Gorman.
Sims continued to struggle with his control, as he surrendered a couple of walks to Brendan Donovan and Paul DeJong, ultimately leading to another wild pitch that scored Gorman.
Drew VerHagen came on in the eighth to relieve Mikolas, surrendering free passes to TJ Friedl and Matt McClain before working around Jonathan India. Giovanny Gallegos came on to relieve him and retired Jake Fraley on a groundout.
Gallegos stayed on for the ninth, making a made a critical play to record the first out on a dribbler just to his right. Spencer Steer made it interesting with a double, and Stuart Fairchild drove him in, but the Cardinal reliever secured the four-out save.
The Redbirds will make the trip north to Lake Erie, where they’ll take on the Guardians for a three-game set. Tomorrow, Oli Marmol will send rookie Matthew Liberatore (1-0, 3.00 ERA) to the mound. Runs could still come at a premium, however, as the Guardians will counter with ace and former Cy Young Award Winner Shane Bieber.