|Reds hope to keep Cards down for once|
The St. Louis Cardinals are off to a hot start following the All-Star break, and they'll try to maintain the momentum when they face the host Cincinnati Reds again Saturday night.
St. Louis has won six of eight coming out of the break, including come-from-behind wins in the first two games of the four-game series against the Reds.
The Cardinals rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win 7-4 on Thursday, then escaped a 7-0 hole to win 12-11 on Friday.
"We're doing whatever we have to win games," St. Louis outfielder Jose Martinez told Fox Sports Midwest after the win on Friday.
St. Louis starter Miles Mikolas (6-9, 4.15 ERA) will try to maintain the team's hot streak while building off his last outing, when he threw the second complete game of his five-year major league career.
Mikolas scattered eight hits, struck out three and didn't walk a batter in the 7-0 win against the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday.
"I needed it," Mikolas said. "Something to make me feel good and put that first half behind me. Get started on a real good foot."
Mikolas told reporters after his latest outing that he worked on his delivery during the All-Star break, trying to keep his head steady and letting his body work around it.
"Keeping everything toward the plate," he said. "Then carry that to the bullpen session, then out to the game."
Mikolas is 2-1 with a 4.20 ERA in his career against the Reds. He made two starts against Cincinnati in April, going five innings in both games.
He allowed four runs (three earned) and seven hits in a 9-5 win on April 14 but did not receive the decision. He gave up four runs and six hits while taking the defeat in an 12-1 loss 11 days later.
Mikolas won his next two outings to improve to 4-2, but he lost seven of his next eight decisions before the shutout against the Pirates.
Reds outfielder Jesse Winker is 5-for-11 with two home runs against Mikolas
Reds starter Luis Castillo (9-3, 2.41 ERA) went into his first All-Star Game earlier this month on a high note, throwing 7 2/3 scoreless innings in a 1-0 win against the visiting Milwaukee Brewers on July 4.
He wasn't as sharp coming out of the All-Star break, but he was still good enough to win, allowing three runs and seven hits in six innings of a 6-3 victory at the Chicago Cubs on Monday. He struck out 10 and walked three.
"Just another big step in his progress," said Reds manager David Bell, who was ejected after the bottom of the first inning on Friday, along with third baseman Eugenio Suarez, for arguing with the plate umpire.
Bell has been ejected seven times this season, surpassing Clark Griffith for the club record. Griffith was ejected six times in 1910.
The Cardinals avoided Castillo in April, when he went 3-1 with a 1.45 ERA, but ran into him on June 4. Castillo allowed one run and two hits in six innings and improved to 6-1 with the 4-1 win in St. Louis.
Castillo is 2-3 overall with a 3.35 ERA in seven career starts against the Cardinals.
--Field Level Media