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Miller strong in debut, leads Cards over Reds 1-0

Associated Press Modified: October 3, 2012 at 11:47 pm •  Published: October 3, 2012

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Cincinnati outfielder Ryan Ludwick is more than pleased with the way his club closed the regular season.

Forget about Wednesday night's 1-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in the regular-season finale.

The NL Central champs are ready to roll as they head into an NL division series against West titleholder San Francisco beginning on Saturday.

"We're playing well and I like our chances," Ludwick said. "It's been a good season. When I signed up here in the offseason, the reason I signed is I thought this team would go to the postseason.

"And here we are."

Third baseman Scott Rolen agrees.

"We've played good ball all year and now we're excited to be going to San Francisco. I'm looking forward to this," he said. "We are definitely ready."

St. Louis rookie right-hander Shelby Miller took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and Matt Carpenter had a run-scoring single in the eighth to lead the Cardinals to their 12th win in their final 16 regular-season games. They will face the Braves in Atlanta on Friday in a one-game wild-card matchup.

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 fanned four straight hitters on 13 pitches during the fourth and fifth innings.

"He threw the ball great," 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 allowing 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 tune-up, but you can't think of it as a tune-up until you are done."

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