ST. LOUIS (AP) — Nolan Arenado homered for the second game in a row and five pitchers combined on a five-hit shutout to help the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Cincinnati Reds 2-0 on Sunday.
St. Louis has won four of six. The Cardinals began the day two games behind Cincinnati and San Diego for the final NL wild-card spot. Cincinnati, which won the first game of the series, has lost five of seven.
Arenado hit a two-run homer in the first off Sonny Gray (7-7), who then retired the next 14 hitters. Arenado, who has 31 homers, also homered in the eighth inning of the Cardinals' 6-4 victory Saturday night.
St. Louis starter J.A. Happ (9-8) allowed two hits over 5 1/3 innings. Luis Garcia, T.J. McFarland, Genesis Cabrera and Giovanny Gallegos finished, with Gallegos picking up his eighth save in 15 opportunities.
Happ struck out four and walked one. He was acquired from Minnesota at the trade deadline.
McFarland got Asdrubal Cabrera to ground into an inning-ending double play in the seventh.
Gray allowed two runs on three hits over seven innings. He struck out six and walked one.
Tyler O'Neill started the two-out rally in the first with a single.
The Cardinals have won nine of their last 12 day home games. They are 15-9 at home in afternoon contests this season.
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The Reds won 10 of 19 games against St. Louis this season giving them a season series win for the first time since 2011 when they compiled a 9-6 mark.
Reds: OF Tyler Naquin was held out of the contest due to sore ribs suffered when he collided with teammate Jose Barrero on Saturday.
Cardinals: RHP Dakota Hudson continued his rehab stint with a start Sunday night for Double-A Springfield. He has not allowed an earned run in three previous minor league starts covering 8 2-3 innings.
Reds: LHP Wade Miley (12-5, 2.89) will take on Pittsburgh LHP Dillon Peters (0-2. 3.38) in the first of a three-game series on Tuesday in Pittsburgh. Miley tossed a no-hitter on May 7 at Cleveland.
Cardinals: RHP Adam Wainwright (15-7, 2.98) will face New York Mets LHP Rich Hill (6-6, 3.82) on Monday in the first of a three game series in New York. Wainwright is 6-6 with a 4.95 ERA in 13 career starts against the Mets.