St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Miles Mikolas fought through 128 pitches on Tuesday night, and was just one strike away from throwing the second solo no-hitter of the season.
Yet on what would have been the last pitch of the night, Pittsburgh Pirates rightfielder Cal Mitchell spoiled the moment.
Mitchell, with two outs and a pair of strikes, hit a deep shot to centerfield that bounced once before hopping the fence at Busch Stadium.
That officially killed the no-hitter at the last possible moment with his ground-rule double.
The Cardinals then pulled Mikolas at 129 pitches on the night, and quickly closed out the 9-1 win with Packy Naughton.
“I really can’t be upset,” Mikolas said of the final pitch on the MLB Network. “I guess you got to tip your hat to that guy over there.”
Had he pulled it off, it would have been the third no-hitter of the year, and the first since last month against the Tampa Bay Rays. The New York Mets combined for a no-hitter in April. Mikolas would have had just the 10th no-hitter in Cardinals history, and the first since 2001.
While the historic night was ruined, Mikolas still pitched an incredible game. He had six strikeouts and just one walk in the blowout win, which marked the Cardinals’ third straight.
“I’m a little over it,” Mikolas said on the MLB Network. “I mean, it stinks to get that close and then kind of come up empty-handed. That’s a great outing. I’ll be real proud that I gave the bullpen kind of another night off. I know we needed it with the double-header.
“I’m happy. But deep down, it kind of stinks.”
Mikolas, 33, is in his fourth season with the Cardinals. He entered Tuesday’s game with a 4-4 record in 12 starts and a 2.93 ERA.
The Pirates’ one run came in the fourth inning after Bryan Reynolds got on base after a fielding error, and reached home after Daniel Vogelbach grounded out to third.
The Cardinals got on the board quickly in the first after a pair of home runs from Tommy Edman and Paul Goldschmidt, and then took a massive 7-0 lead in the second after a two-RBI single from Brendan Donovan and a three-run shot form Goldschmidt.
From there, they cruised to the 9-1 win — their fifth in their last six games. They beat the Pirates 3-1 in the first game of the Tuesday doubleheader, too.
St. Louis will close out its four-game series with the Pirates on Wednesday night.