Cards tab RHP Miles Mikolas as Opening Day starter


St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Miles Mikolas will be the team’s starter for Opening Day in Los Angeles against the Dodgers on March 28, manager Oliver Marmol announced Sunday.

Mikolas is getting the nod over right-hander Sonny Gray, who is working his way back from a hamstring injury.

Mikolas, 35, posted a 9-13 record with a 4.78 ERA in 35 appearances (all starts) last season. He struck out 137 batters and walked 39 in 201 1/3 innings.

A two-time All-Star, Mikolas is 54-53 with a 3.93 ERA in 178 career games (150 starts) with the San Diego Padres (2012-13), Texas Rangers (2014) and Cardinals. He began playing with St. Louis in 2018 after competing with the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan from 2015-17.

Gray, 34, was removed from a start earlier this month due to tightness in his right hamstring.

The Cardinals signed Gray to a three-year, $75 million deal in free agency, part of a remake of their pitching staff that included adding Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson.

Last season with the Minnesota Twins, Gray finished second in Cy Young Award balloting with an 8-8 record and 2.79 ERA in 32 starts.

In his career with the Oakland Athletics (2013-17), New York Yankees (2017-18), Cincinnati Reds (2019-21) and Twins, Gray has a 98-85 record with a 3.47 ERA in 279 appearances (270 starts) and 1,571 innings.