for this game

Carpenter outduels Cueto, Cardinals beat Reds 1-0

Jul 5, 2011 - 4:47 AM St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Mark Hamilton's pinch-hit infield single in the eighth scored the game's lone run as St. Louis edged Cincinnati, 1-0, in a pitchers' duel to begin a three-game series.

Chris Carpenter (4-7) tossed eight shutout innings, allowing six hits and a walk while striking out three in the Cardinals' fifth victory in seven games.

Fernando Salas worked a perfect ninth to earn his 15th save of the year.

Johnny Cueto (5-3) allowed just the one run on six hits and three walks through eight full frames for the Reds, losers in three out of their last four.

"That was as good as you're going to see. Both of them were dealing," Reds manager Dusty Baker said about Carpenter and Cueto.

Colby Rasmus led off the eighth with a single into right, moved to second on Yadier Molina's sacrifice bunt and then took third on a Skip Schumaker flyout to center.

Hamilton stepped up next and slapped a bouncer towards third. The ball hopped over third base and Scott Rolen made a sliding, back-handed grab in foul territory. He made a strong throw to first, but Hamilton made a head-first slide into the bag, reaching the base just before Joey Votto made the stretching grab and allowing Rasmus to score.

"I was trying to get a good pitch to hit. The pitch I hit was probably a ball, but when it came out of his hand I thought it was a great pitch to hit. I actually had to pull my hands in a little bit to make contact," Hamilton said about his game-winning at-bat.

It was a game defined by defense as much as pitching. Each team had a chance to get on the board earlier in the game, but were shut down by spectacular defensive plays.

The Cardinals' chance came in the third inning. Schumaker reached first on a fielder's choice and advanced to second on Carpenter's sacrifice bunt. Ryan Theriot then lined a single into right field. Right fielder, Jay Bruce, made a charging grab on one hop and hurled the ball to the plate as Schumaker rounded third.

Ramon Hernandez made the grab and had time to turn and apply the tag on Schumaker as he slid towards the plate.

In the fourth, Bruce came up with two outs and hammered a 2-0 changeup towards the right-field fence. Jon Jay tracked the ball all the way to the wall and made a leaping catch, robbing the Reds of the go-ahead home run.

Game Notes

Rolen's single in the first inning was the 2,000th hit of his career...The win for Carpenter was his third straight...Cueto fell to 3-1 in his last five starts...Cueto threw 63 of his 104 pitches for strikes and Carpenter tossed 119 pitches, 76 for strikes.