|7:10 PM PT8:10 PM MT9:10 PM CT10:10 PM ET22:10 ET2:10 GMT10:10 7:10 PM MST9:10 PM EST9:40 PM VEN6:10 UAE (+1)9:10 PM CT, May 10, 2018
PETCO Park, San Diego, California Attendance: 20,515
Many Miles later, Cardinals' Mikolas faces Padres
St. Louis Cardinals at San Diego Padres
- St. Louis lost back-to-back games against the Twins and managed just one combined run and six hits in those contests. The Cardinals, 20-14, hold a half-game lead in the division over the Brewers and the Pirates and a one-game lead over the Cubs.
- The Padres dropped two of three against Washington, but were able to win the last game of the series, 2-1 on Wednesday. San Diego pitching struck out 12 batters in the win, and have recorded double-digit strikeouts 20 times this season, tied for the second most such games in MLB (Yankees -- 21).
- The Cardinals are 6-2 in their last eight games at Petco Park, including taking three of four last year. The St. Louis pitching staff combined for a 1.80 ERA and a .213 opponent average in those four games.
- Former Padres' starter Miles Mikolas will make his first career start against San Diego. Mikolas is 4-0 with a 2.70 ERA and just two walks in 40.0 innings. Among qualified pitchers, Mikolas' 0.45 walks per nine innings is the best in MLB this season.
- After making 13 relief appearances with the Padres this season, Jordan Lyles will make his first start of the season. In five starts in 2017, Lyles compiled a 1-3 record with a 9.39 ERA and .343 opponent average in 23.0 innings.
- Since April 11, Tommy Pham has a .500 on-base percentage in 74 plate appearances. Only Mike Trout (.505) has a higher on-base percentage during that time (minimum 50 plate appearances).
SAN DIEGO -- When the Padres traded right-handed reliever Miles Mikolas to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Nov. 25, 2013, some members of the San Diego family felt a mistake had been made.
Mikolas was 25 at the time and a bit raw, but the Padres loved the ceiling.
In parts of two seasons with the Padres, the 6-foot-5, 220-pound Mikolas, who was a seventh-round draft pick in 2009, was 2-1 with a 3.44 ERA in 27 relief appearances.
Mikolas, of course, has matured into a formidable starting pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals -- thanks in large part to a successful, three-season detour to Japan where he posted a 31-13 record with a 2.18 ERA.
Mikolas is 4-0 with the Cardinals this season with a 2.70 ERA in six starts. He has allowed 13 runs (12 earned), 37 hits and two walks with 31 strikeouts in 40 innings.
Thursday night, he returns to Petco Park to face the Padres for the first time in the opener of a four-game series that the Padres will use to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their 1998 National League championship season.
While Mikolas will be facing his original team for the first time Thursday, he has had success at Petco Park. He was 2-0 at Petco Park as a Padre with a 2.84 ERA in 14 relief appearances.
Starting for the Padres Thursday night will be right-hander Jordan Lyles, who comes out of the bullpen to replace Bryan Mitchell (0-3, 6.47 ERA) in seven starts) in the Padres rotation.
Lyles, 27, made five starts for the Padres last season and was 1-3 with a 9.39 ERA. He contended for a rotation spot this spring, but was told a week before Opening Day that he would be starting the season in the bullpen.
Lyles has made 13 relief appearances with the Padres this season and is 0-0 with a 3.66 ERA. He allowed eight runs on 14 hits and seven walks with 16 strikeouts in 19 2/3 innings.
Padres manager Andy Green is hoping Lyle's bullpen experience will alter his thinking as a starter.
"Starters have a different mentality and they can learn from the bullpen," Green said Thursday. "A starter's mentality is to go six or seven innings. In the bullpen, it's 'I have to get this guy out' and they go after the hitter with everything they have.
"That's what we want Jordan to take to the rotation, that same type mentality. He's earned the right to go back into the rotation and we'll see how he does and takes the opportunity to run with it. I'd love to see the full complement of his arsenal used in the rotation the way he's used it in the bullpen.
"I think if he goes at his three or four innings the way he's gone at his one inning, he'll have a lot of success. The fastball has been really good. The breaking ball has been really good. The changeup has gotten underneath bats a lot. He's left one or two up, but he's been really good."
Lyles is 0-1 with a 4.86 ERA in six games (two starts) against the Cardinals. He has never won at Petco Park, where he is 0-3 with a 4.91 ERA in 16 games (six starts).
Updated May 10, 2018