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updated: 10/4/2012 12:23 AM

Cardinals down Reds 1-0 in tuneup for playoff

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  • St. Louis Cardinals players wave their caps to acknowledge the fans after their win over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday at home.

      St. Louis Cardinals players wave their caps to acknowledge the fans after their win over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday at home.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis rookie right-hander Shelby Miller didn't get much sleep Tuesday night.

Miller and his teammates celebrated until the wee hours as the Cardinals clinched the NL's second wild-card berth when San Francisco beat Los Angeles.

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Minutes after the 1 a.m., party started, Miller was informed that he would be making his first career start on Wednesday.

"I tried to gather myself and put together a quick game plan," Miller said.

The tired Miller did more than that. He took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, Matt Carpenter had a run-scoring single and St. Louis beat the Cincinnati Reds 1-0.

The Cardinals, who won 12 of their final 16 regular-season games, will face the Braves in Atlanta on Friday.

Cincinnati, which has won four of seven, takes on NL West champion San Francisco in an NL division series beginning Saturday.

Miller gave up a two-out bloop single to Wilson Valdez in the sixth to end his no-hit bid. He struck out seven, walked two and allowed just one hit over six innings.

"I'd say Shelby looked terrific," manager Mike Matheny said. "He came out there against a very good team and lineup. It was pretty impressive what he was able to do."

Miller struck out four straight hitters on 13 pitches during the fourth and fifth innings.

"He threw the ball great," Cincinnati third baseman Scott Rolen said. "You could tell by the swings guys were taking, guys were not comfortable up there."

Reds starter Homer Bailey, who threw a no-hitter at Pittsburgh in his previous start, tossed four shutout innings and gave up four hits. He struck out six and did not walk a batter. He gave up a leadoff single to Adron Chambers on his third pitch of the game.

"I was actually glad the first guy got a hit so we could get that whole mess done with," Bailey said. "I just went out there and tried to get my work in and still keep the competitive feel. The most I was going to go was five (innings). It was almost a tuneup, but you can't think of it as a tuneup until you are done."

Carpenter drove in Shane Robinson for the lone run with a one-out single that eluded second baseman Henry Rodriguez. Robinson singled off Jonathan Broxton (3-3) to start the eighth-inning rally.

Victor Marte (3-2) picked up the win with one inning of relief. Jason Motte recorded his 42nd save in 49 opportunities, tying him for the most saves in the NL with Craig Kimbrel of Atlanta.

"That's cool," Motte said. "He (Kimbrel) has been doing this for two years. This makes me feel good."

Matheny held seven regulars out of the lineup. Shortstop Pete Kozma was the only starter to begin the contest.

Reds skipper Dusty Baker started most of his regulars.

Lance Berkman pinch hit in the seventh inning in his first appearance since Sept. 7. He has had two knee surgeries this season and is contemplating retiring. He received a standing ovation after grounding back to the pitcher.

"It was certainly a nice send-off," Berkman said. "You can see the class that the people here have."

Berkman has 360 homers and 1,200 RBIs in his 14-year career.

NOTES: St. Louis RHP Kyle Lohse (16-3, 2.86 ERA) will start the one-game wild card playoff in Atlanta. Lohse will celebrate his 34th birthday Thursday. ... Baker announced his starting rotation for the NLDS series against San Francisco. Johnny Cueto (19-9, 2.78) will start Game 1, Bronson Arroyo (12-10, 3.74) is slated for Game 2 and Mat Latos (14-4, 3.48) will pitch Game 3. Bailey is likely to go if there is a Game 4 ... Miller got his first major league hit, a double in the third inning, to end a nine-pitch at-bat. He added a single in the fifth. ... The crowd of 42,509 gave the Cardinals 19 sellouts this season.

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