The Associated Press
ST. LOUIS - About the only embarassment the last-place Reds have avoided this season has been a no-hitter, and they didn't miss that indignity by much today.
Matt Morris pitched no-hit ball into the seventh inning and finished with a three-hitter as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Reds 9-0.
The Cardinals took two of three from the decimated Reds, who have lost 11 of 14 with a roster littered with rookies.
The Reds had only one baserunner in the first six innings, that coming on Tim Hummel's second-inning walk. That was the only three-ball count for Morris before Juan Castro broke up the no-hit bid when he singled up the middle on a 3-1 pitch leading off the seventh.
Morris (10-6) struck out eight and walked one in his third shutout and fifth complete game this season.
"That's Matt at his best," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "That's as good as he's pitched all year."
Morris is 2-0 with an 0.93 ERA in four starts since returning from the 15-day disabled list from a broken hand and sprained ankle that sidelined him from July 21 to Aug. 23. He has thrown 20 consecutive scoreless innings the last three games.
Reds starter Seth Etherton (2-3) gave up five runs and 10 hits in 4 2-3 innings.
"I let the team down early on, and that set the tone for the rest of the game," Etherton said.
The Cardinals took a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Tino Martinez drew a bases-loaded walk off and Edgar Renteria followed with a two-run double.
J.D. Drew had an RBI double in the fourth, Orlando Palmeiro hit his second homer in the fifth and Mike Matheny hit his sixth off Matt Belisle in the seventh.
Palmeiro added an RBI double in the eighth.
Martinez added an RBI double and Renteria had a run-scoring single in the eighth off Brian Reith.
a-fouled out for Norton in the 6th. b-struck out for Belisle in the 8th.
1-ran for Drew in the 6th.
E-Hummel (1). LOB-Cincinnati 4, St. Louis 13. 2B-JCastro (12), Vina (13), TMartinez (22), Renteria (40), OPalmeiro (10), Matheny (17). HR-Matheny (6), off Belisle; OPalmeiro (3), off Etherton. RBIs-JDrew (35), TMartinez 2 (66), Renteria 3 (86), OPalmeiro 2 (31), Matheny (42). GIDP-JDrew.
Runners left in scoring position-Cincinnati 1 (Branyan); St. Louis 6 (Vina 2, TMartinez, Renteria, Morris 2).
Runners moved up-DJimenez, Morris.
DP-Cincinnati 1 (DJimenez, JCastro and Branyan).
|Etherton L, 2-3||4 2/3||10||5||5||3||2||100||5.67|
|Morris W, 10-6||9||3||0||0||1||8||100||3.58|
Inherited runners-scored-PNorton 1-0.
IBB-off Etherton (Matheny) 1. HBP-by Belisle (Rolen), by Etherton (Pujols).
Umpires-Home, Scott Nelson; First, Jerry Layne; Second, Gary Darling; Third, Marvin Hudson.
T-2:29. A-34,389 (50,354).
Notes: Albert Pujols reached base in eight consecutive plate appearances with a home run, two singles, four walks and a hit by pitch, before lining out in the sixth. ... The last no-hit game at Busch Stadium was by the Expos' David Palmer on April 21, 1984, in a game shortened to five innings by rain. The last full-length no-hitter in St. Louis was by Bob Forsch on Sept. 26, 1983, against the Expos. ... Morris is the first Cardinals pitcher to win at least 10 games in three straight seasons since Bob Tewksbury did it five years in a row from 1990-94. ... Cardinals second basemen have eight hits the last two games. Bo Hart had four hits on Saturday. ... Morris has 13 career complete games. He also shut out the Pirates on May 24 and the Cubs on May 19.
How the runs scored:
Cardinals first. Vina singled to left. Drew singled to right, Vina to second. Pujols walked on a full count, Vina to third, Drew to second. Rolen fouled out to catcher LaRue. Martinez walked, Vina scored, Drew to third, Pujols to second. Renteria doubled to right, Drew scored, Pujols scored, Martinez to third. Palmeiro fouled out to first baseman Branyan. Matheny was intentionally walked. Morris flied out to right fielder Valent.
3 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, 3 left on. Cardinals 3, Reds 0.
Cardinals fourth. Morris grounded out, second baseman Jimenez to first baseman Branyan. Vina doubled to left. Drew singled to right, Vina scored. Pujols was hit by a pitch, Drew to second. Rolen flied out to center fielder Pena. Martinez popped out to second baseman Jimenez.
1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 2 left on. Cardinals 4, Reds 0.
Cardinals fifth. Renteria popped out to shortstop Castro. Palmeiro homered to right on a 2-2 count. Matheny doubled to left. Morris lined out to right fielder Valent, Matheny to third. Norton pitching. Vina grounded out, second baseman Jimenez to first baseman Branyan.
1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 left on. Cardinals 5, Reds 0.
Cardinals seventh. Palmeiro flied out to left fielder Stenson. Matheny homered to left on a 1-1 count. Morris flied out to right fielder Valent. Vina singled to right. Taguchi grounded out, second baseman Jimenez to first baseman Branyan.
1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 left on. Cardinals 6, Reds 0.
Cardinals eighth. Reith pitching. Pujols safe on Hummel's error. Rolen struck out. Martinez doubled to left, Pujols scored. Martinez to third. Renteria singled to center, Martinez scored. Palmeiro doubled to center, Renteria scored. Matheny singled to right, Palmeiro to third. Morris flied out to right fielder Valent. Vina flied out to left fielder Stenson.
3 runs, 4 hits, 1 error, 2 left on. Cardinals 9, Reds 0.
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