Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick slugged three home runs in five at-bats last night against the Blue Jays last night as his team went on to an easy 14-6 victory. Reddick entered the game with five home runs on the season and hadn’t homered since July 22.
Reddick’s offensive surge continued this afternoon. He took Jays starter Mark Buehrle deep for a two-run shot in the second, tying the game at two apiece. Then, with his team trailing 5-3 to open the top of the ninth against Jays closer Casey Janssen, Reddick went deep to right field again for a solo homer, bringing his team within a run at 5-4. Janssen, however, was able to dance around two additional base runners before converting the save.
The Cardinals have selected right-hander Miles Mikolas as their Opening Day starter, the club revealed Saturday. It’ll mark the first career Opening Day start for Mikolas, who is scheduled to go up against the Brewers when the team hits the road on March 28.
The 29-year-old righty was a strong contender for the 2018 NL Cy Young Award, earning All-Star distinctions and pitching to a career-best 18-4 record with a 2.83 ERA, 1.3 BB/9, 6.5 SO/9, and 4.3 fWAR over 200 2/3 innings. He’s positioned to lead the Cardinals rotation in 2019 as well, with former Opening Day starters Carlos Martínez and Adam Wainwright and some combination of right-handers Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, Alex Reyes, and John Gant behind him.
Manager Mike Shildt told reporters that Flaherty, Wacha, Wainwright, and Martínez had all been considered for the honor, but admitted that Opening Day honors were ultimately handed to Mikolas “in recognition of [his performance] last year.” The Cardinals are scheduled to play a four-game set against the Brewers to start the season and will stop over in Pittsburgh for another two games before returning to St. Louis for their opening homestand against the Padres on April 4. Additional pitching assignments have yet to be announced.