McClanahan wins 5th straight start, Rays sweep 3 from Cards

Jun 9, 2022, 12:38 AM | Updated: 1:13 pm
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Shane McClanahan delivers to the St. Louis Cardinals during the fir...

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Shane McClanahan delivers to the St. Louis Cardinals during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 9, 2022, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

              St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols (5) and Yadier Molina wave to the fans after a video tribune to both players during the third inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays Thursday, June 9, 2022, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
            
              St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols hits a graound ball back to Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Shane McClanahan during the sixth inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 9, 2022, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
            
              Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Shane McClanahan, left, fields a ground ball by St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols during the sixth inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 9, 2022, in St. Petersburg, Fla. McClanahan threw the ball away allowing Cardinals' Paul Goldschmidt to score. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
            
              Tampa Bay Rays' Ji-Man Choi celebrates his two-run home run off St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Miles Mikolas during the fourth inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 9, 2022, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
            
              Tampa Bay Rays' Ji-Man Choi high fives teammates after his two-run home run off St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Miles Mikolas during the fourth inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 9, 2022, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
            
              St. Louis Cardinals' Miles Mikolas pitches to the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 9, 2022, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
            
              Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Shane McClanahan delivers to the St. Louis Cardinals during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 9, 2022, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Shane McClanahan pitched eight superb innings to win his fifth consecutive start and the Tampa Bay Rays completed a three-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals with a 2-1 victory on Thursday.

Ji-Man Choi hit a two-run homer as the Rays moved a season-high 11 games over .500.

McClanahan (7-2) allowed one unearned run, two hits, walked one and struck out nine, The lefty, who leads the majors with 98 strikeouts, has given up just five runs over 40 innings in his last six starts.

“I think he’s putting himself in a category here through two months of the season — pretty special category,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

It was the first time McClanahan has pitched into the eighth inning.

Jason Adam worked the ninth to get to his second save

Miles Mikolas (4-4) had an eight-inning complete game, allowing three hits and striking out nine.

The right-hander was the first St. Louis pitcher to have a complete game and lose since Adam Wainwright on April 26, 2021, against Philadelphia.

“I thought Miles actually outpitched him if you ask me, but Shane has something for you,” St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol said. “He’s (McClanahan) got electric stuff. He did a phenomenal job. Miles also did a really nice job. That was a plus-outing there.”

Marmol said the Cardinals had six or seven balls hit at over 100 mph that were right at people.

“The guys behind me made a lot of great plays,” McClanahan said. “I owe a lot of success to them.”

With both pitchers in control, the game at Tropicana Field was played in 1 hour, 54 minutes.

Mikolas retired his first nine batters on just 27 pitches before running into trouble during the fourth.

Kevin Kiermaier had a leadoff single and scored on Choi’s one-out homer that made it 2-0. Choi has a nine-game hitting streak and has driven in 10 runs over the stretch.

The Cardinals got within 2-1 in the sixth after an error by McClanahan.

Paul Goldschmidt extended his career-best on-base streak to 45 games with a two-out walk and went to second when Nolan Arenado singled for the Cardinals’ second hit.

Albert Pujols hit a soft comebacker that McClanahan failed to catch barehanded. McClanahan recovered, but made an errant throw to first that allowed Goldschmidt to score.

“I just rushed it,” McClanahan said. “I knocked it down, my momentum was taking me one way and I thought I had not as much time as I did and just rushed the throw,”

Pujols picked up his 1, 374th extra-base hit in the second when Rays second baseman Vidal Bruján overran his pop fly in shallow right field for a double. Pujols is now three extra-base hits away from tying Cardinals great Stan Musial for third place on the all-time MLB list.

VIDEO SPECIAL

The Rays played a video tribute before the top of the third honoring St. Louis stars Yadier Molina and Pujols, who are both retiring after this season.

“I think both of them have meant quite a bit to the game,” Cash said. “You marvel at their careers. Look at Yadier Molina (39) and Albert Pujols (42) the age they are, they kept themselves in that shape to be able to compete at his level still is just remarkable.”

Both jumped over the railing of the third-base dugout after the video to acknowledge a standing ovation.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: Outfielder Dylan Carlson (left hamstring) could rejoin the team Friday.

Rays: Reliever Andrew Kittredge was placed on the 15-day IL and is expected to have surgery to remove a loose body in his right elbow.

UP NEXT

Cardinals: Right-hander Andre Pallante (1-0) will go against Cincinnati righty Luis Castillo (1-3) on Friday night in St. Louis.

Rays: Righty Drew Rasmussen (5-2) and Minnesota left-hander Devin Smeltzer (2-0) are Friday night’s starters at Target Field.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

The Meyer Shank Racing Acura ARX-06 passes the High Class Racing ORECA LMP2 07 in a turn during a p...
Associated Press

IMSA takes North American sports cars into hybrid era

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Cadillac growls, while the Porsche and BMW scream. The Acura sounds like an Indy car, and for fun, turn your back to the track and listen carefully as the cars roar around Daytona International Speedway in a new era of IMSA sports car racing. The top prototype class has […]
17 hours ago
Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) moves the ball up court as Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridg...
Associated Press

Sprained ankle will sideline Mavs star Doncic against Jazz

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic will miss a game at Utah on Saturday after spraining his left ankle against Phoenix in the opener of a two-game trip. Doncic’s absence leaves the Mavericks without their top two scorers. Christian Wood is recovering from a broken left thumb. The Mavericks went on […]
17 hours ago
FILE - Retired Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt speaks during an interview in Tokyo, Thursday, Dec. 1, ...
Associated Press

Usain Bolt fires business manager over Jamaica fraud case

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt told reporters Friday that he is baffled over how $12.7 million of his money has gone missing from a local private investment firm that authorities are investigating as part of a massive fraud that began more than a decade ago. Bolt also said he has […]
17 hours ago
San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey speaks at a news conference before an NFL foot...
Associated Press

Bold trades keyed offensive jolts for 49ers, Eagles

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers got a jolt offensively when they made the bold decision in October to trade four draft picks to add Christian McCaffrey to an already deep group of playmakers. The Philadelphia Eagles made an aggressive trade of their own to supercharge their offense when they added game-breaking […]
17 hours ago
Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after defeating Tommy Paul of the U.S. in their semifinal at th...
Associated Press

Djokovic, Tsitsipas to meet in Australian Open men’s final

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Winning matches at the Australian Open does not give Novak Djokovic all that much trouble. He has a 27-match unbeaten run, the longest at the place in the 55-year Open era. And now Djokovic needs just one more victory, against Stefanos Tsitsipas in Sunday’s final, to collect what would be a […]
17 hours ago
FILE - Philadelphia Eagles linebackers coach Nick Rallis gestures during a preseason NFL football g...
Associated Press

Oh, brother! WWE star, Eagles coach ready for big weekend

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Mike Rallis had his younger brother draped over his shoulders and was set to dump him to the turf — as a roughhousing brother might do — when he took an abrupt blow to his ribs. In a flash, Nick Rallis was on his feet and had turned the fight around. He […]
2 days ago
McClanahan wins 5th straight start, Rays sweep 3 from Cards