Ponce de Leon scores first win as starter, pilots Cardinals to doubleheader split with Brewers

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It took a pitcher who has been off and on the roster almost as many times as he’s been asked to make a pivotal start to throw the Cardinals right to the brink of a postseason berth.

Shut out in Game 1 of a doubleheader Friday night against Milwaukee, the Cardinals got shutout innings from Daniel Ponce de Leon to guide them to a 9-1 victory at Busch Stadium and a split. Ponce de Lone took a no-hitter through five innings until a solo homer snapped it.

Ponce de Leon pitched six innings and struck out six.

“Every game I’m trying to go out and throw a no-hitter,” Ponce de Leon said.

The Cardinals won the evening game as the visiting team at Busch Stadium. And that’s not the weirdest thing happening Friday night. The Cardinals (29-27) can clinch a playoff berth as early as Saturday.

The Cardinals took a 1-0 lead in the first inning of Game 2, added two more in the second inning. Kolten Wong had an RBI triple as they widened their lead to 3-0. In the fifth, the Cardinals scored six runs to take a 9-0 lead for Ponce de Leon. Rookie Dylan Carlson had a two-run double in the inning, and he finished the doubleheader 2 for 4 with two walks and two RBIs to go with the run scored in Game 2.

Ponce de Leon got his first win as a starter — in his 20th start.

“My wife a few weeks ago texted me a few weeks ago that I was a record-holder, and the record was the most starts without a win,” Ponce de Leon said. “Dang, I’m not pitching that bad. No one ever thinks they’re not going to get a win. You win some, you lose some in a row.”


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