Game Report: Cardinals 4, Marlins 1

By Rob Rains

One of the reasons Miles Mikolas signed with the Cardinals last winter when he returned from Japan was because the team’s spring training facility was close to his home in Jupiter, Fla.

He has found a pretty good home at Busch Stadium for the summer, too.

Mikolas allowed just one unearned run over seven innings on Thursday as the Cardinals salvaged the final game of the series against the Marlins.

In six starts at Busch this season, Mikolas has allowed just six earned runs in 42 1/3 innings, an ERA of 1.28. Four of those runs came in his first home start on April 9. In his five starts since, he has allowed just two earned runs in 36 innings.

Over that same stretch, Mikolas has given up just 25 hits and for the year has held opponents to a .206 average, 33 hits in 160 at-bats, at home while issuing just three walks and striking out 31. He also has not allowed a home run at home this season.

“When he’s right we know he’s going to be standing out there late in the game,” said manager Mike Matheny. “It was a really well executed game plan.”

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: Jose Martinez staked Mikolas to a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning, following a single by Tommy Pham. It was his sixth homer of the season … Marcell Ozuna’s RBI single in the sixth, which followed another single by Pham and a double by Martinez, increased the lead to 3-1 … Luke Voit capped the scoring with a pinch-hit homer in the seventh. Voit is 2-of-2 with three RBIs as a pinch-hitter this season, tying Greg Garcia for the team lead in both categories.

On the mound: Mikolas raised his record to 7-1 and lowered his overall ERA to 2.27. Two of the three hits he allowed came with two outs in the first inning. He then retired 14 batters in a row before Dexter Fowler dropped a fly ball in right field in the sixth, leading to the Marlins only run. Mikolas struck out five and issued only one intentional walk … Jordan Hicks allowed a walk and infield single in the eighth before Bud Norris worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his 12th save.

Key stat: The Cardinals lost two stolen bases from a game on May 22 against Kansas City because of a scoring change announced by Major League Baseball on Thursday. Adding in Kolten Wong being thrown out in the fourth inning, the Cardinals have now stolen 11 bases and been thrown out 13 times since April 26.

Worth noting: Martinez had a better day on the field than he did off it. The two scoring changes from previous games cost him a stolen base and also added a fielding error. The second change, from a game in Milwaukee, took two earned runs away from Luke Weaver … Adding the error on Fowler on Thursday, gives the Cardinals 48 errors, one behind the Phillies for the most in the National League … Before the game the Cardinals activated Greg Garcia from paternity leave and designated Preston Guilmet for assignment. Guilmet had been added to the roster on Tuesday and pitched in two games, giving up five runs in two innings … Catcher Steven Baron, who was designated for assignment to open a roster spot for Guilmet, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple A Memphis.

Looking ahead: The Cardinals will spend the weekend in Cincinnati before returning home on Monday. Weaver will get the start in the opener on Friday night against the Reds

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains