ST. LOUIS (AP) — Juan Yepez homered and Miles Mikolas pitched seven strong innings, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 10-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday night.
Paul Goldschmidt drove in three runs for St. Louis, which snapped a three-game losing streak. Brendan Donovan added a two-run double to the Cards’ 11-hit attack.
Baltimore had its season-best three-game winning streak halted.
Yepez continued a sizzling start to his MLB career. He has hit safely in all seven games since being called up on May 3. He hit a homer in the second inning off Spenser Watkins (0-1) and reached base safely in 13 of his first 25 plate appearances.
“There were a lot of people that didn’t believe in me,” the 24-year-old Yepez said. “Now that they’re seeing me here, I say, ‘thanks to them for actually giving me more motivation to work harder.’ Being here is like proving them wrong.”
St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol is taking extra pleasure in Yepez’s success.
“Each at-bat is personal to him,” Marmol said. “You can tell that the kid has been told for a long time that this is impossible. He’s enjoying proving a lot of people wrong.”
Yepez’s seven-game streak is the longest by a St. Louis player to start a career since Magneuris Sierra hit in his first nine games in 2017. Yepez went 2 for 5 and is hitting .444.
“If you told me this five years ago, I’d say, ‘you’re lying,’ “Yepez said. ”I was talking to my parents last night and they said, ‘Son, we’ve been crying so much this week.’ It’s a dream, a dream and a blessing.”
Yepez, who is 12 for 27, is the seventh player in franchise history to have 12 or more hits through his first seven games.
Mikolas (3-1) allowed one run on four hits. He struck out three and walked one. Mikolas has allowed two runs or less in all seven starts this season.
“I feel like I’m moving the ball around the zone, and keeping it down, making good pitches when I need to,” Mikolas said. “I’m keeping an even keel and not really deviating from the plan.”
Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde felt Mikolas got better as the game went along.
“He got the lead and put it on cruise control,” Hyde said. “He’s got multiple pitches he can attack you with. Incredibly unpredictable.”
Donovan, who reached base in all four trips to the plate, capped off a three-run outburst in the second inning with a two-run double for a 3-0 lead. Goldschmidt highlighted a four-run fourth inning with a two-run double. He added a run-scoring single in the sixth.
Tommy Edman also drove in a pair of runs for the Cardinals.
Watkins gave up eight hits and seven earned runs in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out three and walked two.
Even with the loss, Baltimore has won seven of 11 after a 6-14 start to the season.
COME ON UP
St. Louis recalled RHP Jake Walsh from Triple-A Memphis. Walsh recorded six saves in nine appearances in the minors. He pitched two scoreless innings in his MLB debut on Wednesday. RHP Kodi Whitley (2-0, 4.15 ERA) was sent to Memphis.
ON THE REHAB TRAIL
St. Louis RHP Drew VerHagen will start for Double-A Springfield against Amarillo on Thursday. VerHagen was placed on the injured list on April 22 with right hip impingement. This will be his second rehab start. He was 0-3 with a 5.79 ERA in three appearances prior to the injury.
Orioles: INF Ryan Mountcastle missed the game due to left wrist soreness that had been bothering him the last couple days. INF Ramon Urias missed his third successive game with abdominal discomfort.
RHP Jordan Hicks (1-2, 3.78) will start for the Cardinals in the final game of the three-game set on Thursday afternoon. Baltimore has not named a starter. Hicks has never gone longer than 4 1/3 in any of his previous six starts this season.