ST. LOUIS (CBSNewYork/AP) — It wasn’t going to be easy replacing Jacob deGrom when he was placed on the injured list with elbow trouble. Those shoes looked a lot bigger after the Cy Young winner’s replacement on Saturday couldn’t make it to the fifth inning.

Miles Mikolas allowed four hits in eight innings and also drove in two runs, leading the St. Louis Cardinals over the New York Mets 10-2 on Saturday.

Chris Flexen (0-1) surrendered six runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings in his first major league start since last July 18 against Tampa Bay. Manager Mickey Callaway said after the game he will be sent back to Triple-A and left-hander Daniel Zamora will be brought up.

“I got beat on a few pitches up, struggled putting guys away with two strikes,” Flexen said. “All in all, I went out there and battled, stayed aggressive, and attacked these guys.”

Flexen hasn’t had much success in his big league career, posting an 8.59 ERA in 19 games.

Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter left the game after the sixth inning with a bruised left knee. He appeared to foul a ball off himself, but stayed in and drew a walk, then scored a run and exited. Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said he talked to Carpenter after the game and Carpenter told him he’d be fine.

Jose Martinez had three hits and three RBIs and Paul Goldschmidt hit his eighth home run for St. Louis.

Mikolas (2-1), who allowed both runs, became the first St. Louis pitcher to record an out in the seventh inning this season.

“I was just executing what I set out to do,” he said. “I watched the game last night, watched how their hitters reacted to a lot of pitchers the other day, and we do our scouting meetings and everything like that. Having real good command just kind of helps that.”

It was scoreless in the second inning when the Mets intentionally walked Kolten Wong to load the bases with two outs for Mikolas. Wilson Ramos’ passed ball allowed Martinez to score on the first pitch, and Mikolas followed with a two-run single.

He in inspired by teammate Adam Wainwright

“It’s the other team saying hey, you stink, we’ll take our chances with you hitting,” Mikolas said. “As a pitching staff here you have a guy with a Silver Slugger a couple lockers down. We take our hitting pretty serious so it’s satisfying to see all the work kind of pay off.”

The Cardinals are 11-0 when Mikolas has a hit.

Martinez added a two-run double in the sixth off Jacob Rhame. Martinez has hit safely in his last six starts, going 13 for 25 (.520) in that span after starting the season 2 for 17 (.118) with limited playing time.

“I’ve seen what Jose can do,” Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong said. “He’s hit his whole career. Sometimes he can a little antsy when he hasn’t played in a while, but he’s definitely done his job lately. Getting some more regular at bats, he’s really coming into his own.”

Goldschmidt hit a 464-foot solo home run off Paul Sewald in the eighth inning. Eight of his 19 hits have been home runs.

ACE ON THE MEND:

RHP Jacob deGrom played catch in the outfield a day after being placed on the injured list with right elbow soreness. Callaway says the NL Cy Young Award winner might not need an MRI as previously announced because his elbow responded well to treatment.

MORE: Mets Send deGrom To Injured List With ‘Arm Soreness,’ Reportedly Scheduled For MRI On Elbow

“Much improved,” Callaway said. “We’ll get him back to New York and get him checked out and go from there.”

TRAINER’S ROOM:

Mets 1B Pete Alonso received X-rays on his left hand after being hit by a foul ball in the eighth inning. X-rays were negative, and Alonso said he hopes to play Sunday.

UP NEXT:

Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard (1-1, 5.63) is 1-2, with a 3.08 ERA in four starts against St. Louis.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)