St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Miles Mikolas was one strike away from throwing the 11th no-hitter in franchise history Tuesday night when it was broken up in the ninth inning.
Mikolas had Pirates right fielder Cal Mitchell on 2-2- count when Mitchell connected on a pitch to center field. The ball went just beyond the outstretched arm of Harrison Bader and bounced over the fence for a ground-rule double.
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Mikolas would be removed from the game immediately after the hit for Packy Naughton. Pirates batter Jack Suwinski would ground out three pitches later.
St. Louis won the game 9-1, picking up their 37th win of the season. Mikolas was a bit bummed about losing the no-hitter so late in the game.
“I’m a little over it. I mean it stinks, to get that close and then kind of come up empty-handed,” he told reporters after the game. “That’s a great outing. I’ll be real proud that I gave the bullpen kind of another night off. I know we need it with the doubleheader. I’m happy – but deep down it kind of stinks.”
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Bader was inches from making an incredible diving catch to save the no-hitter and win the game. But Mikolas said if the Gold Glove outfielder couldn’t get to it, nobody could.
“If he can’t get it, nobody can – except maybe one of those guys in the stands when they have that like 3-foot glove, maybe that guy,” the pitcher added. “We’re playing shallow so they don’t kind of doink one in. I think that’s what you’re always guarding against is you don’t want to lose it cheap. The guy hit a ball to the track, I’ll give it to him. And it was a good pitch. I’m more OK with that then if the dude bloops a broken-bat bleeder in there somewhere.”
Mikolas finished with six strikeouts in the win. He allowed one earned run.
Bader was 1-for-3 in the game with a strikeout.
“It went to the left of my glove, kind of curled back,” he said. “I was working really hard to try to make up some ground. So yeah, just sucks. But it is what it is.”
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Paul Goldschmidt went 4-for-4 with two home runs and five RBIs in the win. Tommy Edman added a home run as well.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.