Kenta Maeda gets first win for Tigers, 4-1 over Cardinals

DETROIT -- — Kenta Maeda got his first win for Detroit, allowing four hits over six innings in a 4-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday as the Tigers took two of three games in the series.

Matt Vierling had three RBI for the Tigers, who are 31-16 against St. Louis in interleague play. The teams also met in three World Series, with the Cardinals winning in 1934 and 2006, and Detroit taking the title in 1968.

“That's the team I grew up rooting for, so having a day like this is huge,” said Vierling, a St. Louis native.

Maeda (1-1) allowed a fourth-inning home run to Willson Contreras that landed in shrubbery above the center-field fence. He struck out five and walked none.

“Both pitchers filled up the strike zone, but we were able to jump on top, which is always big in a series-deciding game," Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “Kenta had pretty good stuff."

A 36-year-old right-hander who signed a $24 million, two-year contract during the offseason, Maeda had a 7.64 ERA in his first four starts but has lowered it to 5.02 by allowing one run over 11 innings in his last two outings. He spent his first seven big league seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Minnesota.

Contreras' homer was the Cardinals' only extra-base hit, and they drew just two walks.

“We had a couple of situations late where we had two runners on and the guys we wanted at the plate,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. "They didn't go our way, but there will be a time when we turn those into crooked numbers. We just aren't driving the ball at the moment.”

Alex Lange got four outs for his second save, taking over for Jason Foley after Tuesday's doubleheader.

“Our bullpen isn't a one-man show or a two-man show,” Hinch said. “We've got eight guys down there who are ready whenever we need them. We had a couple guys down today and that moved roles to different people.”

Miles Mikolas (2-4), facing Detroit for the first time, gave up three runs and six hits in six innings.

Vierling singled leading off the second and scored on Colt Keith's double, then hit a two-run, two-out homer in the third and added a sacrifice fly in the eighth.


Cardinals OF Dylan Carlson (shoulder) started a rehab assignment with Triple-A Memphis on Tuesday, going 0 for 1 with two walks as the designated hitter. Carlson has been sidelined since an outfield collision in spring training.


Cardinals: RHP Sonny Gray (3-1, 1.16) is scheduled to start Friday at home against Chicago White Sox RHP Brad Keller (0-0, 0.00), whose only appearance this season has been a five-out relief outing,

Tigers: RHP Reese Olson (0-4, 3.18) is expected to start on Friday at the New York Yankees.