CINCINNATI (AP) — Matt Carpenter broke a scoreless tie with his two-run single in the seventh inning, Matt Adams added a three-run homer, and the St. Louis Cardinals extended their surge in the NL Central by beating the Cincinnati Reds 5-0 on Monday night.
St. Louis has won nine of 10, going from two games out to a season-high 4 1/2 games up in the division. The Cardinals are 10-3 against the Reds this season and 40-24 against the NL Central overall.
Shelby Miller (9-9) gave up three hits while pitching into the eighth and getting his first victory in three starts against Cincinnati this season. Two relievers finished the three-hitter.
Carpenter’s single off Manny Parra (0-3) left Cincinnati’s bullpen 0-14 since the All-Star break, part of Cincinnati’s 16-33 slide over that time. The Reds have dropped eight of their last 10 and fallen 10 games under .500 for the first time since 2009.
The Reds had two pitchers leave the game because of injury.
Reds starter Dylan Axelrod threw only seven pitches before pulling his right oblique and leaving the game. Left-hander David Holmberg relieved and went a career-high 5 2-3 innings, allowing four hits while throwing 81 pitches.
Right-hander Pedro Villarreal took a grounder off his forearm in the ninth and left the game. Ondrusek replaced him and gave up Adams’ three-run homer on his second pitch.
The Reds went through seven pitchers overall, including four in the decisive seventh. Parra gave up Randal Grichuk’s pinch-hit double and Kolten Wong’s infield single. After Miller’s sacrifice, Carpenter singled to right off Parra for a 2-0 lead.
Miller faced the minimum 12 batters over the first four innings — Brandon Phillips singled but was taken out in a double play. Devin Mesoraco led off the fifth with a double but was stranded at second, the only Red to reach scoring position.
SS Zack Cozart was in the lineup for the third straight game after missing time because of a sore right wrist. He is in an 0-for-16 slump.
Cardinals: Michael Wacha (5-5) makes his third start of the season against Cincinnati. The Cardinals are 5-2 at Great American Ball Park this season.
Reds: Mike Leake (10-11) is coming off his worst start of the season. He gave up a season-high seven runs and three homers in only four innings of a 9-7 loss at Baltimore on Thursday.