ST. LOUIS — On a cool 67-degree Monday evening, cramping wouldn't seem to be a concern for Shelby Miller.
But the St. Louis Cardinals rookie right-hander exited after five innings because of cramping in his right calf.
Still, Miller (8-4) registered the victory in the Cardinals' 5-2 decision over the Chicago Cubs before 44,172 at Busch Stadium.
"I was cramping up when I was pushing off the mound towards the end (of the fifth)," Miller said. "I kind of battled through the last couple of outs. But it's all right. We got it taken care of."
Miller was visited on the mound by trainer Greg Hauck and manager Mike Matheny with a runner at first and one out in the fifth. But Miller remained in the game and completed the inning, striking out pitcher Travis Wood and retiring Luis Valbuena on a fly to right.
Ty Wigginton batted for Miller in the bottom of the fifth.
"I'm guessing I'm a little dehydrated this week," Miller said. "I guess I didn't get enough electrolytes --whatever it is. But it feels OK. We'll see how it feels tomorrow. No strains or nothing. It's all good. It's just cramping up a little bit.
"It kind of happens. I don't know if the weather did it to me. I know I wasn't taking care of myself fluid-wise. It's something I need to start staying on top of and making it a part of my routine."
Miller had given no indication of having a problem in the first four innings.
"You saw the first warning that I had, when I had to go out and visit," Matheny said. "He was fine as we went out to visit him at the mound. He seemed pretty confident, but I think we all saw a drop in velocity and the crispness he had all game. That's enough warning for us. It was a good time to take him out."
Matheny wasn't buying Miller's explanation that the weather had anything to do with the cramping.
"We're heading for some hot days. Today wasn't one of them," Matheny said. "It could have been a perfect storm of something going on inside him. But the doctors were pretty thorough with him already and feel confident that just hydration would take care of it."
Contact reporter David Wilhelm at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2665.