The Cardinals have outscored opponents 12-2 in the first inning through six games. They’ve been held scoreless in the first inning just once.
“To go out there and know you’ve got some cushion, it’s good and I think it helps a starter really attack the zone,” Mikolas said.
Mikolas (1-0) struck out seven and allowed one run, three hits and one walk in 6 2/3 innings. The only hit he allowed through the first six innings came on a Rowdy Tellez single in the second.
Milwaukee managed just six hits against the combination of Mikolas, Nick Wittgren and Andre Pallante. Christian Yelich struck out in each of his four plate appearances.
“He had everything working,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said of Mikolas. “That was kind of the story tonight. The curveball was good. The slider was good. His fastball was located. It didn’t feel like we got many balls to hit.”
Brewers starter Freddy Peralta (0-1) wasn’t nearly as effective.
After retiring his first two batters, Peralta allowed nine of the next 11 to reach on six hits, two walks and a hit batter. That allowed the Cardinals to build a 6-0 lead in the first two innings.
“When our leadoff guy’s getting his third at bat before their nine hitter gets their first, I’m in on that,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol quipped.
The Cardinals’ first-inning outburst started with Tyler O’Neill’s two-out double. After Peralta loaded the bases with walks to Arenado and Lars Nootbaar, Harrison Bader and Andrew Knizner delivered two-run singles.
“O’Neill hit a really good pitch,” Counsell said. “(Peralta) was a little cautious with Arenado, then couldn’t put away a hitter after that and they put together a real good inning.”
Peralta has allowed seven first-inning runs in two starts this season. This time, his struggles lasted well beyond the opening frame.
The 2021 All-Star right-hander hit Dylan Carlson with a pitch to start the second inning. Paul Goldschmidt doubled home Carlson and scored on an Arenado single to make it 6-0.
Peralta struck out four in three innings but allowed six earned runs, seven hits and two walks.
Edman hit a two-run shot off José Ureña in the fifth to make it 8-0. Edman also homered Thursday in the Cardinals’ 5-1 loss at Milwaukee.
“It was funny, I was telling Paul (DeJong) this is the only (NL) Central park I don’t have a home run in yet, and then I hit two in the last two days,” Edman said.
The Brewers scored their lone run in the seventh when Omar Narváez greeted Wittgren with a two-out RBI single.
Arenado closed the scoring with a two-run shot off Brent Suter in the ninth.
Cardinals: RHP Jack Flaherty played catch from about 120 feet away before the game. “He’s on track,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “Everything’s kind of moving along in the direction we were hoping for as part of his throwing program.” Flaherty hasn’t pitched yet this season due to an injured right shoulder.
Brewers: Suter slipped on the dirt and ran into the railing in front of the Cardinals dugout while chasing a Nootbaar foul pop in the ninth. After lying on the ground for a few minutes, Suter got up and went back to the mound as if he planned to stay in the game before the Brewers sent him to the dugout. IF Mike Brosseau took over for Suter and made his fifth career MLB pitching appearance.
“I think what happened was, my forearm took the brunt of something – either the padding or something,” Suter said. “I think I slid under the railing into the net and then just spun out after that. … I felt good and told them I was good to go but with the situation and everything, they took me out.
LHP Steven Matz (0-1, 21.00 ERA) starts for the Cardinals and RHP Adrian Houser (0-1, 4.91) pitches for the Brewers as this four-game series continues Saturday night.
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