After scoring just 12 runs in their last five games, St. Louis Cardinals hitters must face New York Mets ace Max Scherzer on Monday night.

Scherzer (3-0, 2.50 ERA), a right-hander, will start Game 1 for the Mets in a three-game series at St. Louis. The Cardinals will counter with right-hander Miles Mikolas (1-0, 1.76).

In his last two outings, Scherzer has allowed just two runs on six hits in 12 innings while striking out 17 and walking six.

He carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning of his last start, a 3-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants in the second half of a doubleheader on Tuesday.

“He’s like a colt bouncing around,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said after the victory. “Reminds me of, you ever see those wild horses running free? That’s him.”

Scherzer lasted seven innings, threw 102 pitches, and struck out 10.

“I knew I needed to control my pitch count tonight so I could pitch as deep as possible because of the doubleheader,” Scherzer said after the victory.

Last season Scherzer, a St. Louis native, won his two starts against his hometown team while allowing just one unearned run in 14 innings. He struck out 22 and walked just one.

Scherzer is 4-6 with a 2.76 ERA in 13 career starts against the Cardinals. He has 108 strikeouts against them in 84 2/3 innings.

One Cardinal who won’t face Scherzer on Monday is shortstop Paul DeJong, who is hitting just .139 for the season. Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol plans on giving Edmundo Sosa his second straight start in his place.

“When Paulie is good, he’s working above the baseball and not losing his back side and coming underneath,” Marmol said. “He can just have two days and say, ‘I’m really working on this and I’m going to nail it down.’ It will be a good two work days for him.”

The National League East-leading Mets won two of three games at Arizona over the weekend and have won their first five series of the season.

“It’s a mature group that understands the task ahead of us,” Showalter said after Sunday’s 6-2 victory over the Diamondbacks. “Each day you have to put yesterday’s failures and successes behind you … very professional group.”

After winning their first two games in Cincinnati over the weekend, the Cardinals fell to the Reds 4-1 Sunday.

“Yeah. We have to go into those day games regardless if we won the first two with the mentality of, ‘Winning the series is not the goal,'” Marmol said. “It’s winning every game. Definitely stand by that. It’s a mentality we’ll carry on the entire season.”

Before their loss Sunday, the Cardinals had won six of their previous eight games after their starting pitching settled in.

In his last two outings, Mikolas allowed just one run on seven hits in 11 2/3 innings. He struck out 12 and walked just one.

Mikolas pitched five shutout innings while taking a no-decision in his last start, a 2-0 victory at Miami.

“I love the humidity down here,” Mikolas said. “Keep the ball in the infield and let all those Gold Gloves work.”

He has just two career appearances against the Mets, including one start. He is 1-0 with a 2.00 ERA against them.

–Field Level Media