ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Chris Carpenter outdueled Cincinnati Reds nemesis Johnny Cueto with eight scoreless innings, then watched from the dugout as pinch-hitter Mark Hamilton drove in the lone run with an infield hit for the St. Louis Cardinals in a 1-0 victory on Monday night.
Cueto (5-3) allowed six hits in eight innings in his first appearance against the Cardinals since he spiked Carpenter on the back and dealt Jason LaRue a career-ending concussion with kicks during a brawl in Cincinnati Aug. 11. Cueto and Brandon Phillips, whose bat tap to catcher Yadier Molina's shin guard had precipitated the bench-clearing incident, were both booed at every opportunity.
Jon Jay robbed Jay Bruce with a leaping catch at the right field wall to end the fourth and retreated while battling the sun for another fine grab on Edgar Renteria's drive near the warning track with two men on in the seventh.
Carpenter (4-7) has won three straight starts, digging himself out of the worst hole of his career, and is 13-4 for his overall against Cincinnati. The right-hander has permitted just two runs on 18 hits in 24 innings to lower his ERA to 3.74.
Cueto is 3-2 in his last seven starts despite compiling a 1.42 ERA in that span. He hasn't allowed more than three runs in any of his 11 starts this season.
Joey Votto had three singles and Scott Rolen singled in the first for his 2,000th hit for Cincinnati. The Reds, the highest-scoring team in the National League, managed just three runners in scoring position.
Colby Rasmus opened the eighth with his second hit and advanced when Molina converted a sacrifice after fouling off two attempts and then fouling off a two-strike pitch. Rasmus went to third on a flyout before Hamilton spun a grounder off the end of his bat that curled just inside the third base line.
Rolen made a sliding stop at third but threw just late to first as Hamilton took a curious wide turn and belatedly slid headfirst into the bag. Hamilton is 6 for 26 as a pinch hitter and this was his first RBI.
Fernando Salas struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 15th save in 17 chances.
Bruce foiled the Cardinals' first scoring opportunity, easily throwing out Skip Schumaker at the plate after fielding Ryan Theriot's single to end the third. Schumaker appeared to get a bad jump on the hit but was waved home by third base coach Jose Oquendo, celebrating his 48th birthday.
NOTES: The Cardinals have won just two of their last seven at home. ... The Cardinals and Reds are meeting six times in the next 10 games. ... Bruce is among the NL leaders with six assists. ... Rasmus' single in the fifth was his fourth hit in 24 at-bats and the first that was not a homer.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)