The visiting St. Louis Cardinals will try to extend their winning streak to 11 games when they face the Milwaukee Brewers again Wednesday.
The Cardinals (81-69) won 5-2 and 2-1 in the first two games of the four-game series in Milwaukee. They have won 12 of their past 13 games to push their lead to four games over the Cincinnati Reds for the second National League wild card.
“The veterans kind of set the tone, the guys who have been around forever and know what it takes to have a successful season, especially over the course of 162 games,” St. Louis second baseman Tommy Edman told Bally Sports Midwest after the victory. “Having those guys has been huge. They have really set the tone for the clubhouse.”
The Cardinals’ Wednesday starting pitcher, Miles Mikolas (1-2, 4.50 ERA), is coming offhis best start of the season. He blanked the San Diego Padres for 5 2/3 innings Friday in an 8-2 victory, limiting them to three hits and two walks. He struck out three.
Mikolas earned a victory for the first time since Sept. 12, 2019. In the intervening span, he battled forearm and shoulder injuries.
“It was good, spiritually fulfilling, emotionally gratifying,” Mikolas said. “Mentally, I was a little more locked in. Not necessarily, let’s throw a curveball. It was throw THE curveball that I need to throw NOW.”
Mikolas has not faced the Brewers this season. He is 4-1 with a 4.06 ERA in seven career appearances against them, including six starts.
Manny Pina (4-for-8, homer, three RBIs) has hit Mikolas well, but Christian Yelich (3-for-17) has not.
The Brewers (91-60) will try to bounce back Wednesday after losing for the fifth time in their past seven games. Brett Anderson (4-8, 4.18 ERA) will get the start while trying to rebuild his endurance.
The left-hander was knocked out of his latest start on Sept. 1 shortly after taking a line drive off his pitching shoulder. He carried on following the second-inning incident, but eventually his shoulder tightened up, and he subsequently landed on the injured list.
He is due to be activated Wednesday.
Anderson exited his start prior to that after four innings with right hip soreness, so Brewers manager Craig Counsell doesn’t expect him to go deep Wednesday.
“He’s been ready to go for a while now,” Counsell said. “I think it’s going to be a short start for him. We’re going to have to use bullpen guys, for sure.”
Anderson won his only start against the Cardinals this season 9-3 on April 11. He allowed one run on five hits and two walks with one strikeout in five innings.
He is 2-3 with a 3.04 ERA in five career starts against St. Louis. Harrison Bader (2-for-3), Edman (3-for-7) and Paul Goldschmidt (10-for-21, two homers) have had some success against Anderson while Paul DeJong (0-for-5) and Yadier Molina (2-for-11) have not.
The Brewers got outfielder Tyrone Taylor off the 10-day injured list Tuesday after he finally recovered from a ribcage injury sustained last month.
“I think any injury is frustrating,” said Taylor, who went 0-for-2 in his return. “Unfortunately, I’ve had my fair share during 10 years of pro ball. But also fortunately, I know how to deal with that mentally. I was able to stay positive, and our athletic trainers and strength coaches and our doctors are very good. I was in good hands.”
–Field Level Media