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Miller, Cardinals shut out Reds

Sep 9, 2014 - 7:42 AM Cincinnati, OH ( - Shelby Miller tossed seven-plus shutout innings as the St. Louis Cardinals kept rolling with a 5-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Monday.

The Cardinals have a healthy lead atop the NL Central standings thanks to a 9-1 stretch that included taking three of four from the Brewers last weekend.

Miller (9-9) kept the good times going by working to weak contact all night. He allowed only three hits, did not walk a batter and struck out four.

Matt Carpenter broke a scoreless tie with a two-run single in the seventh, and Matt Adams hit a three-run homer in the ninth to put the game away.

David Holmberg was forced into a lengthy relief assignment when Reds starter Dylan Axelrod exited with a strained right oblique after retiring the only batter he faced.

"I thought he did a great job today," Cincinnati manager Bryan Price said about Holmberg. "It was a tough spot with Axelrod having the oblique strain."

Holmberg pitched admirably out of the bullpen, scattering four hits and two walks over 5 2/3 scoreless frames, but the rest of Cincinnati's bullpen could not keep St. Louis' bats quiet.

Manny Parra (0-3) replaced Holmberg in the seventh and gave up a leadoff double to pinch-hitter Randal Grichuk and an infield single to Kolten Wong. Miller moved Wong into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, and Carpenter singled through the right side to bring in both runners.

Miller faced the minimum through four innings and shook off a leadoff double by Devin Mesoraco in the fifth by retiring Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce and Chris Heisey in order.

Mike Matheny opted to pull Miller after Phillips led off the eighth with a single despite his starter having thrown just 81 pitches. The decision paid off, as Pat Neshek erased Phillips with a double-play ball off the bat of Heisey.

After Adams broke things open with a three-run homer off Logan Ondrusek, Sam Freeman pitched a perfect bottom of the ninth to close out the win.

Game Notes

The Cardinals lead the season series, 10-3, including victories in the last six meetings ... The Reds have dropped six of their last seven ... St. Louis had 10 hits to Cincinnati's three ... The Reds were shut out for the 14th time this year.