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…