Reds 1, Cardinals 0

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CINCINNATI (AP)—A computer glitch left Aaron Harang slightly disoriented. He had the St. Louis Cardinals baffled, too.

Harang threw a three-hitter for his first career complete game and Sean Casey homered to lead the Cincinnati Reds over St. Louis 1-0 Thursday night.

A computer virus prevented scoreboard displays of rosters, linescores and individual statistics at Great American Ball Park.

“Without the scoreboard on, I didn’t even realize what inning we were in,” Harang said. “Maybe I’ll have them turn it off next time.”

Chris Carpenter (13-5) also pitched a three-hitter and struck out 11 for the Cardinals, but he wound up with a tough loss. Casey hit the first pitch from Carpenter into the right-field bullpen with two outs in the sixth inning for his 21st homer.

“He pitched just as good a game as Harang,” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. “He’d like to have that one pitch back.”

Cincinnati took two of three from the Cardinals, who had won eight straight series since dropping two of three games July 23-25 at home against San Francisco. It was only the second series they’ve lost since June.

Harang (8-6) had lost three straight starts, including a 10-5 defeat at St. Louis on Aug. 16. He struck out six and walked one.

Carpenter, who walked only one, had won his past four decisions. St. Louis lost for only the fifth time in his last 21 starts since April 23. He entered with the lowest run support among Cardinals starters at 4.1 runs per game.

“Carpenter was nasty, and so was Harang,” Casey said.

“We just had the feeling that nobody was going to hit Harang tonight. To tell you the truth, we kind of had that feeling with Carpenter, too.”

Carpenter’s first double-digit strikeout game of the season also was his first complete game since July 29, 2002, with Toronto at Kansas City. He lost that game as well.

The right-hander finished one shy of his career high for strikeouts set Sept. 4, 2001, against the New York Yankees.

Harang was backed by excellent defense in the eighth inning, when Austin Kearns denied Edgar Renteria at least a double on a diving catch in right field.

“That was the lone pitch I left up,” Harang said. “I saw Kearns going after it and thought, ‘Please make this play.”’

Kearns said he momentarily lost the ball in the lights, but recovered and was fully extended to make the catch.

On the next play, third baseman Felipe Lopez made a diving catch of a grounder to throw out Reggie Sanders.

“They played a strong defensive game behind Harang,” La Russa said. “Give them credit. We made contact a few times. We didn’t hit too many pitches hard.”

With one out to go, after Larry Walker singled, Cincinnati manager Dave Miley was booed when he went to the mound to talk to Harang.

“I was hoping he was going to tell me to go get ‘em,” Harang said. “He just asked me how I was feeling.”

Miley was cheered as he left the mound, and Harang got the final out by getting Albert Pujols on a grounder to shortstop.

Cincinnati went 5-14 against the Cardinals this season.

“They beat us up so bad this year, to get a series from them is huge,” Casey said.

Notes

Casey is 18-for-53 (.340) with five homers in his last 14 games. … The Cardinals canceled batting practice. La Russa said he sometimes does that when the team has a late-night flight. … St. Louis 2B Tony Womack returned to the starting lineup after being held out Wednesday with a slight groin problem. He had a pinch-hit single Wednesday and a leadoff single Thursday night to extend his hitting streak to a season-high 12 games. He had two of the three hits off Harang. … Reds SS Barry Larkin started for only the fifth time since leaving a game July 27 at Pittsburgh with a strained left oblique muscle. … Cardinals slugger Jim Edmonds failed to reach base safely, ending a 47-game streak that dated to June 29.

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