Pirates drop 4th straight in shutout loss to Cardinals | TribLIVE.com

Pirates drop 4th straight in shutout loss to Cardinals

Associated Press
Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Joe Musgrove walks back to the mound as St. Louis Cardinals’ Tyler O’Neill, back left, rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game Monday, July 15, 2019, in St. Louis.
St. Louis Cardinals’ Tyler O’Neill, right, is congratulated by teammate Yairo Munoz after hitting a two-run home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Monday, July 15, 2019, in St. Louis.
Pittsburgh Pirates’ Josh Bell drops his bat as he grounds out during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Monday, July 15, 2019, in St. Louis.
St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Miles Mikolas, right, gets a hug from catcher Matt Wieters after throwing a complete game shutout against the Pittsburgh Pirates during a baseball game Monday, July 15, 2019, in St. Louis.

ST. LOUIS — Miles Mikolas scuffled in the first half of the season and wanted a fresh start after the All-Star game.

His got it.

Mikolas pitched an eight-hitter and Tyler O’Neill hit a pair of two-run homers, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 7-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night.

It was the first complete game this season and second overall for Mikolas (6-9), who lasted just four innings in his last start before the break. He struck out three and walked none while throwing 100 pitches.

“I needed it. I needed something to make me feel good and put that first half behind me,” Mikolas said. “In golf we always joke a hole-in-one and I’m right back on track. Hopefully, this one puts me right back on track.”

It was first complete game by a Cardinals pitcher this season. Mikolas had the only one last year on May 21 against Kansas City.

It also was the second shutout of his career.

“It’s pretty cool,” Mikolas said. “Does anyone have two this year? I can be tied for the league lead in something. I like that.”

Mikolas pitched out of three jams. The Pirates had runners on second and third with two outs in the fifth, but Mikolas got Jacob Stallings to ground out and end the inning. In the sixth, he allowed one-out singles to Adam Frazier and Brian Reynolds, his third hit before Starling Marte grounded into an inning-ending double play. Marte also hit into a double play in the first inning. In the seventh, Colin Moran doubled with one out and was stranded at third.

“He deserves a tip of the hat,” St. Louis manager Mike Shildt about Mikolas. “Talk about a dominant performance. It was bolstered by some excellent defense. All his pitches were crisp. That’s Miles.”

St. Louis has won three games in a row.

O’Neill, who is playing in left for the injured Marcell Ozuna, had his first career multi-homer game, and drove in four runs for the second time in the last three games. He also singled to finish with three hits.

“I got the cage early today, working on standing back and seeing the ball properly and obviously it worked pretty well,” O’Neill said. “I’m back to doing my thing and I want to keep it rolling.”

The Pirates lost their fourth consecutive game and left manager Clint Hurdle lamenting the missed opportunities.

“We hit some balls hard. They made some plays, but at the end of the day we had eight hits,” Hurdle said. “There was enough there to make a run at it, but we didn’t get things done we needed to get done to get on the plate.”

Pittsburgh starter Joe Musgrove (6-8) gave up five runs and five hits in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked three along with hitting a batter.

The Cardinals scored an unearned run in the first inning. Paul Goldschmidt walked with two outs and O’Neill hit a line drive that Dickerson dropped, allowing Goldschmidt to score. Musgrove ended up striking out the side but he needed 36 pitches without allowing a hit to get out of the inning.

St. Louis went ahead 3-0 in the third. Matt Carpenter was called out at first on a close play to start the inning. After a 37-second challenge, the call was overturned. With one out, Goldschmidt hit a fly ball to deep left in front of the fence. The ball hit Dickerson’s glove and popped out. It was ruled a double. An infield hit by O’Neill moved Goldschmidt to third and he came home on a sacrifice fly by Dexter Fowler.

The Cardinals chased Musgrove in the fifth. DeJong singled after Carpenter was picked off first by catcger Stallings. After Goldschmidt struck out, Musgrove gave up a two-run homer to center on his first pitch to O’Neill, giving St. Louis a 5-0 lead.

O’Neill got his second home run to center off reliever Kyle Crick in the seventh after Goldschmidt walked with two outs.

Categories: Sports | Pirates
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