CINCINNATI (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals had plenty of chances to help Shelby Miller keep his streak intact. They came up empty and let one bad pitch end it.
Todd Frazier hit a three-run homer off Miller, who had won his last six decisions, and Devin Mesoraco added a solo shot as the Cincinnati Reds beat St. Louis 5-3 on Friday night and tightened the top of the NL Central.
The Reds moved within three games of the second-place Cardinals, who have won seven of their last nine games while staying right behind the division-leading Brewers.
Cincinnati is 3-4 against St. Louis this season and trying to end a longstanding trend this weekend. The Reds have lost nine of their last 10 series against the Cardinals.
Miller (6-3) lost his first two starts before winning six straight decisions, the best such streak of his career. He allowed five runs in five innings, including Frazier's ninth homer in the third inning off a pitch that was near the belt — not where he intended it to go.
"It was supposed to be down and away," Miller said. "It wasn't down enough. It ran back over the plate.
"Wish I could take it back."
Miller had trouble keeping his fastball down all night, which is a big problem at homer-friendly Great American Ball Park.
"My fastball for the majority of the game was up in the (strike) zone," Miller said. "I got a lot of foul balls.
"This is not a good park to leave the ball up, obviously."
Homer Bailey (4-3) escaped numerous threats during his six innings. Aroldis Chapman gave up a hit in the ninth while getting his fourth save in five chances, with his fastball topping out at 102 mph.
The Cardinals have had problems hitting with runners in scoring position all season. They wasted numerous chances again.
"We had them on the ropes a couple of times," manager Mike Matheny said. "We were looking for that big hit."
Bailey was coming off his worst start of the season. He lasted only 3 2-3 innings and gave up a season-high six runs during a 12-1 loss at Philadelphia on Saturday. The right-hander is only 6-10 career against St. Louis, by far his most losses against any team. He gave up eight hits and three runs, including Allen Craig's two-run single in the fourth.