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Miller back on track as Cards rout Angels

The SportsXchange

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The last time Shelby Miller pitched, he couldn't make it out of the second inning and was tagged for five runs in a loss to the Oakland A's, the worst defeat of his young career.

On Wednesday night at Angel Stadium, the St. Louis Cardinals' offense returned the favor and presented Miller with big seven-run second inning on the way to a 12-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels.

Matt Carpenter had three hits, including a home run and a double, scored three times and drove in three to lead the support for Miller (9-6).

Miller, a 22-year-old right-hander, gave up two runs and five hits in six innings as the Cardinals stopped the Angels' winning streak at seven.

"A lot of good things happened today with Shelby getting back on the horse and making some real good pitches," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "I know he made some minor adjustments that made things really fall into place and feel right. I know that was a big day for him. And for all of us."

The only offense the Angels could muster off Miller was Hank Conger's two-run home run in the bottom of the second. By that time, the Cardinals were comfortably ahead.

"That's just what our offense does," Miller said. "We go out there and put up runs, and they do damage. It's good to get a cushion, but at the same time, you still have to act like it's a 0-0 ballgame and don't lose too much focus. I went out there and gave up two runs right after that. That was a mistake curveball that I just hung. It's one of the mistakes that they got tonight. But it's amazing what our offense can do. They can put up runs quick."

Angels starter Jerome Williams worked a 1-2-3 first inning only to fall apart in the second. Williams (5-4) didn't make it out of the inning, surrendering four hits and four walks before manager Mike Scioscia came out with the hook.

"First inning, he looked sharp, had good velocity, really good action on his sinker," Scioscia said. "Start of the second inning he looked a little bit tentative, and the walks obviously compounded that inning. He just couldn't minimize the damage and the inning got away from him."

The win enabled the Cardinals, who lost four of their first six games on the current road trip, to keep pace with the first-place Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League Central, two games out of the top spot.

Yadier Molina had three hits, Jon Jay had two hits including a home run, and Daniel Descalso also had two hits for the Cardinals, who finished with 13 in all off four Angels pitchers. Cardinals relievers Kevin Siegrist (one inning), Keith Butler (1 2/3 innings) and Randy Choate (one-third of an inning) finished up for Miller.

In the second, Williams walked four batters and gave up four hits, including a two-run homer by Jay that nearly was another Mike Trout highlight-reel catch. Trout momentarily had the ball in his glove as he reached over the center field fence, but the ball squirted out and Trout angrily pounded his glove when he came down and realized he didn't make the grab.

"Frustrating," Williams said of the second inning. "I thought I threw the ball well, (but) walks killed me. Walking guys, they're going to score. I don't think I was trying to be too fine. I was attacking, and I know these guys are aggressive, so I was attacking at the bottom of the zone. I was trying to get those guys to swing, but I guess it was too low. And when I did get the ball over the plate, they were good pitches but they just found the holes."

The Angels got a couple of runs back in their half of the second inning on Conger's homer, but they never threatened again, failing to get a baserunner past second base the rest of the way.

NOTES: Cardinals LF Matt Holliday was not in the starting lineup for the second game in a row because of a stiff neck. Holliday, who is hitting .263 (5-for-19) on the current trip, is listed as day-to-day. ... St. Louis RHP Adam Wainwright was selected the NL Pitcher of the month for June after going 4-2 with a 1.77 ERA in six starts. ... Jay completed his 226th consecutive errorless game, tying the Cardinals' record for outfielders, set by Curt Flood from 1965-67. Jay has the longest active errorless streak among major league center fielders. ... Angels RF Josh Hamilton went 1-for-2, extending his hitting streak to eight games. It's his longest streak since an 11-game run Aug. 2-13 last season while with the Texas Rangers. ... Los Angeles LF J.B. Shuck was in the leadoff spot for the 10th time this season. The Angels are 8-2 in those games. Overall, Shuck is hitting .347 (17-for-49) in his past 15 games.
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