Miller subdues Milwaukee for 13th win of season

News-DemocratSeptember 10, 2013 

— Shelby Miller's days of being a thrower are farther behind him with each passing start.

Miller (13-9) improved to 8-3 with a 1.76 ERA in 14 starts at home Tuesday as the St. Louis Cardinals held on for a 4-2 victory over Milwaukee at Busch Stadium.

Miller matched Wily Peralta --who took a no-hitter into the sixth --pitch-for-pitch and wound up with 5 2/3 shutout innings. Miller walked two and struck out four.

"I think my changeup was one of my better pitches tonight," said Miller, a power pitcher who typically relies on a fastball and recently developed cutter. "I feel like I did a pretty good job of keeping it on the plate. Yadi (Molina) was calling it and we were on the same page all night.

"But I never shake Yadi anyway, so it's not a big deal. But we were getting ahead in counts and getting quick outs."

Peralta didn't allow a hit until Matt Holliday hammered his 19th homer of the season with two outs in the sixth. It came one out after Peralta had walked Matt Carpenter.

Staked to a two-run lead, Miller headed back to the mound for the seventh. He walked Martin Maldonado with one out before Peralta sacrificed. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny summoned Kevin Siegrist from the bullpen and Siegrist fanned Norachika Aoki.

Trevor Rosenthal and Edward Mujica finished off the Brewers, although Mujica allowed pinch-hitter Logan Schafer's two-run homer in the ninth.

"We're pitching good now and we're just trying to win games," Miller said, referring to the strong starting pitching in the previous three weekend games against Pittsburgh by Joe Kelly, Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha. "That's all we're trying to do. Our starting pitchers pitched great and it was a good sweep for us. Now we've just got to keep it going."

Matheny lauded Miller's performance in what was a diversion from the rookie's previous starts in terms of his game plan.

"Shelby was good. He did a nice job with a little different approach," Matheny said. "He wasn't blowing stuff past guys. He was doing kind of what we talked about he needed to do in order to be a little more efficient and be in the game a little bit longer.

"He really was doing a nice job attacking the bottom of the zone, and that made that high fastball better. But then he had his secondary pitches. The second time through the order, he really did a nice job of getting his changeup and curveball going early for first-pitch strikes. He mixed it up well."

Matheny said it's part of the ongoing evolution for Miller.

"It's not that he hasn't been trying to use those other pitches. They just haven't felt good coming out of his hand," Matheny said. "You don't have much confidence in it if you're trying to use secondary pitches and they're getting hit, and you realize you're getting hurt on your second and third pitch. Your defense mechanism is to go straight to what has been working."

Miller said Peralta's performance helped him stay focused.

"I knew I was needing to put up zeroes to match what he was doing," Miller said. "He threw a good game. But also, we have an amazing offense. That's the thing with our offense; when things start to happen, it happens fast. Holliday came up with a huge homer."

Contact reporter David Wilhelm at or 239-2665. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidMWilhelm.

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