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May 7, 2024 2:43 am

Cardinals, Mets starting pitchers face off in rematch

miles mikolas

Miles Mikolas outperformed Jose Butto when the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Mets 4-2 on April 26 in New York.

The starting pitchers will get a rematch when the Cardinals host the Mets Tuesday in the middle game of a three-game set.

In the series opener on Monday, the Mets snapped a three-game losing streak by edging the Cardinals 4-3 on Brandon Nimmo’s decisive solo homer in the seventh inning.

Mikolas (2-4, 5.68 ERA) prevailed in the previous matchup against the Mets and Butto. Mikolas allowed two runs on seven hits, including Tomas Nito’s solo homer, in 5 2/3 innings.

J.D. Martinez hit an RBI double against Mikolas, who struck out five batters and walked none in the game. Mikolas is 2-3 with a 4.46 ERA in seven career games against the Mets, including six starts.

Butto (0-2, 2.57 ERA) took the loss on April 26, which was his first career start against the Cardinals. He allowed four runs on four hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings, striking out four. Willson Contreras and Alec Burleson hit solo home runs against him.

“I just made two mistakes in the beginning, but I just continued working, continued battling,” Butto said.

Both Mikolas and Butto are coming off strong efforts in their most recent outings.

Mikolas met the quality-start metric in a 4-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday, allowing three runs on six hits in six innings. He struck out four and walked none while throwing a season-high 101 pitches.

“We’ve played a lot of close games,” Mikolas said. “If we get a ball that’s a foot more to the left or right, maybe it’s a fair ball down the line and it’s extra bases. But for us, it seems to be a foul ball or a line drive turns into a double play. … Over the course of the season, I think a lot of those things have a tendency to even out.”

Butto took a hard-luck 1-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday. He yielded one run on four hits and two walks over six innings while striking out six batters.

Mets slugger Pete Alonso, who is mired in a 1-for-30 slump, figures to return to the starting lineup Tuesday. He entered Monday’s game in the sixth inning as a defensive replacement at first base and lined out in his only at-bat.

“He’s struggling, but it wasn’t easy to give him a day,” Mets manager Carlos Mendoza said. “But that says who he is. Whether he’s feeling it, whether he’s not feeling himself at the plate, he still wants to be there.”

The Cardinals have lost five of their past six games while struggling at the plate. They have scored three or fewer runs in six of their past eight games.

“There’s not a magic button, man, there really isn’t,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “I’d love to sit here and tell you the perfect answer. If there was one, the guys would be doing it.”

Before the Monday game, the Cardinals altered their bullpen, placing Giovanny Gallegos on the 15-day injured list due to a right shoulder impingement and promoting Chris Roycroft from the minors. Roycroft, a 26-year-old right-hander who was never drafted, had a 1.38 ERA in 11 appearances for Triple-A Memphis this season.

–Field Level Media

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