1 of 5 | St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Miles Mikolas has his hand checked by first base umpire Dan Iassogna at the end of the second inning during Game 2 of a doubleheader against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
June 15 (UPI) -- St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Miles Mikolas lost a no-hitter in heartbreaking fashion in the finale of a doubleheader, when Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Cal Mitchell smacked a ninth-inning line drive into the outfield.
Mitchell broke up the no hitter when Mikolas needed just one strike to seal the rare feat Tuesday at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. He still earned a win in the Cardinals' 9-1 victory. The Cardinals won 3-1 in Tuesday's opener.
"It kinda stinks to not finish that out," Mikolas told Bally Sports Midwest in an on-field interview. "I don't have one [a no-hitter] yet. I've got friends that have them.
"It would have been nice to join that conversation."
Mikolas hit a batter with a pitch in the second and issued a third-inning walk to spoil an attempt at a perfect game in the Cardinals' second outing of the day. He went on to retire 19 of the next 20 hitters.
Mitchell then stepped into the box as the third batter of the ninth inning. The Pirates right fielder earned a 2-0 lead in the count. Mikolas then worked the count even with two strikes. Mitchell fouled off a fifth Mikolas offering.
The Cardinals right-handed pitcher ended the exchange with a 75.6-mph curveball, which would have painted the bottom outside corner of the strike zone.
Mitchell swiped his bat through the zone and raked the ball deep to center field. Cardinals outfielder Harrison Bader gave chase, but the line drive sailed just over his glove, hit the warning track and bounced over the outfield fence for a ground-rule double.
"Everybody in the dugout wanted it really bad for him," Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol told reporters, when asked about the spoiled no-hitter. "He pitched really well. He did a really nice job."
Relief pitcher Packy Naughton replaced Mikolas to face Pirates outfielder Jack Suwinski for the final at-bat. Suwinski grounded out to second base to end the game.
Shortstop Tommy Edman hit a solo homer to lead off the bottom of the first and gave the Cardinals an initial edge. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run shot two at-bats later.
Third baseman Brendan Donovan plated Bader with an RBI single in the bottom of the second for a 4-0 lead. Goldschmidt hit a three-run homer in the next at-bat to push the Cardinals lead to seven runs.l
Designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach brought in the Pirates' lone run with an RBI groundout in the top of the fourth. Cardinals second baseman Nolan Gorman drove in the final runs of the game with a two-run double in the bottom of the sixth.
Mikolas totaled six strikeouts, in addition to his hit, walk and unearned run allowed. He threw 81 of his 129 pitches for strikes. He also lowered his ERA to 2.62 and improved to 5-4 this season.
Goldschmidt went 4 for 4 with five RBIs, three runs scored and a walk. His .349 batting average leads the National League.
Donovan went 4 for 5 with three runs scored and an RBI for the Cardinals. Edman went 3 for 5 with two runs scored and an RBI in the victory.
The Cardinals (37-27) host the Pirates (24-37) in the series finale at 7:45 p.m. EDT Wednesday at Busch Stadium.