TORONTO (AP) — A power-packed lineup has helped carry the Toronto Blue Jays to the top of the AL East. But those booming bats were no match for Shelby Miller.
Miller took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning and finished with a three-hit shutout as the St. Louis Cardinals snapped Toronto’s six-game winning streak, 5-0 Saturday.
The Blue Jays failed to hit a home run for the first time in five games and were held to three hits, their lowest total of the season. Toronto was shut out for the second time in 2014, and the first time since April 17 at Minnesota.
“He carved us up pretty good,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of Miller.
Mark Buehrle lost for the first time in eight starts despite allowing just one run, a solo homer by Randal Grichuk. Buehrle (10-2) had won six straight decisions.
“Buehrle was great,” Gibbons said. “His command was off a little bit, but he gutted it out for seven innings and did what he does.”
Buehrle allowed five hits and left with a 2.05 ERA, second in the AL to New York’s Masahiro Tanaka. He matched a season-high with five walks and struck out six.
Grichuk hit his first career home run as the Cardinals won for only the third time in 11 games.
“Hopefully we get the ball rolling,” Miller said.
Miller (7-5) struck out five and walked one. He retired the first 13 batters before walking Adam Lind in the fifth.
Miller had lost his previous three starts, permitting at least four runs each time. He was in command against Toronto, pitching the second complete game of his career. His other came May 10, 2013, when he gave up a leadoff single to Colorado’s Eric Young and then set down 27 batters in a row.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said Saturday’s performance might have been even better.
“This one, especially with the way their offense has been producing, is the best one I’ve seen,” Matheny said.
Jose Reyes lined a single to right field with two outs in the sixth for Toronto’s first hit. Melky Cabrera followed with a ball that nicked first baseman Allen Craig’s glove for a double, but Miller struck out Jose Bautista swinging at a high fastball to end the inning.
The Cardinals avoided dropping below .500. The NL champions scored more than two runs for just the third time in eight games.
Grichuk’s one-out homer in the fifth was just the third allowed by Buehrle this season, and the first since May 22.
“It was changeup away,” Buehrle said. “It was on the outside of plate, it may have been up a tad. I knew he hit it pretty good but I thought it was more of a pop fly so it kind of surprised me.”
St. Louis broke it open with four runs in the eighth. Mark Ellis drew a bases-loaded walk from Aaron Loup and one out later, Tony Cruz hit a two-run single.
Steve Delabar replaced Loup and issued back-to-back walks to Matt Carpenter and Grichuk that made it 5-0.
NOTES: Loup allowed a run for the first time in 15 1-3 innings. … Toronto’s six game interleague winning streak was snapped. … St. Louis C Yadier Molina got the day off while 2B Kolten Wong (left shoulder) missed his second straight game. … Cardinals LHP Jaime Garcia (1-0) faces Blue Jays RHP Drew Hutchison (4-3) in Sunday’s series finale.
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