SAN DIEGO (AP) — Even without his best stuff, Shelby Miller managed to keep a modest scoreless innings streak alive.
The St. Louis Cardinals rookie enters with 14 2-3 scoreless innings heading into Monday night’s road matchup with Jason Marquis, who has won four straight starts for the San Diego Padres.
Miller (5-2, 1.40 ERA) is tied for the majors’ lowest ERA with the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw. He did not get a decision for the first time Wednesday, throwing 96 pitches over 5 2-3 innings in a 4-2 victory over the Mets.
“It’s not always going to be smooth,” he said. “I got away with some mistakes.”
That effort came after the 22-year-old right-hander struck out a season-high 13 in a one-hitter May 10 in a 3-0 win over Colorado.
This will be his first start against the Padres, who were the only team to score against him in Miller’s six 2012 appearances. He allowed two runs over three innings Sept. 10 in his first road game.
Marquis (5-2, 3.49), making a bid to win five straight outings for the first time since April 16-May 9, 2007, with the Cubs, has posted a 2.45 ERA during his win streak.
The veteran right-hander has faced only four St. Louis hitters who are currently available. Ty Wigginton, who rarely starts, is 9 for 24 against the former Cardinals starter.
St. Louis (28-15), beginning an eight-game trip with this three-game set, is a major league-best 24-10 against right-handed starters.
These clubs are meeting for the first time since splitting six 2012 matchups, with the home team winning every time. San Diego (20-23) scored 20 runs in its Sept. 10-12 sweep.
Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina has thrown out seven of 20 runners attempting to steal when he has been behind the plate. He will be up against a Padres club that leads the majors with 38 steals.
San Diego stole a season-high five bases in Sunday’s 13-4 win over Washington. Everth Cabrera had three to take his major league-leading total to 18 in 22 attempts, with seven coming over his last five contests.
The Padres have homered eight times and scored 33 runs in winning four of six. Jedd Gyorko is 9 for 22 in that span, and Yonder Alonso is 8 for 21 with homers in consecutive games.
“We’re swinging really good right now and we’re seeing the ball so good right now,” Cabrera said. “It feels great. I’m happy.”
St. Louis has won 14 of 18, featuring five hitters with at least 20 RBIs along with a rotation that leads the majors with a 2.63 ERA.
“When you’re a St. Louis Cardinal, you expect stuff like this,” third baseman David Freese told the Cardinals’ official website. “The front office puts guys on the field and great guys in the clubhouse. It’s a good recipe with Mike (manager Mike Matheny) leading us.”