Miller is masterful in complete-game shutout as Cardinals beat Blue Jays 5-0

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TORONTO - Right-hander Shelby Miller pitched his first shutout of the season and Randal Grichuk hit his first major-league home run as the St. Louis Cardinals snapped the Toronto Blue Jays' six-game winning streak with a 5-0 victory on Saturday.

Miller (7-5) held the Blue Jays to three hits and one walk while striking out five to snap a string of three losses in a row.

The Cardinals, who had lost their two previous games, evened the three-game series with the Blue Jays at a game apiece. The rubber match is on Sunday.

Grichuk's fifth-inning homer stood as the game's only run until the Cardinals scored four runs in the eighth against Blue Jays relievers Aaron Loup and Steve Delabar. Grichuk picked up his second RBI of the game when Delabar walked him with the bases loaded.

Mark Buehrle (10-2) failed in his attempt to become the first 11-game winner in the major leagues. The Blue Jays left-hander allowed five hits, five walks and one run while striking out six in seven innings. He threw a season-high 118 pitches.

The Cardinals (32-31) loaded the bases with two out in the fourth on a one-out double by Jhonny Peralta, a walk to Oscar Taveras and a two-out infield that bounced off Buehrle. But Buehrle worked out of the jam when Tony Cruz's bouncer to third resulted in a force play at second.

The Cardinals broke the scoreless tie in the fifth when Grichuk took a first-pitch change-up over the centre-field fence.

The Blue Jays (38-25) did not have a runner on base until Adam Lind walked with one out in the fifth. Lind took second on a high chop by Brett Lawrie that first baseman Allen Craig snared adeptly before throwing to Miller covering first for the first out on a close play. Juan Francisco made the final out with a towering fly out to the wall in centre field.

Jose Reyes lined a single to right with two out in the sixth for the Blue Jays first hit of the game and their second base runner. Melky Cabrera followed with a double that deflected off Craig's glove to put runners at second and third. But Jose Bautista struck out on a 97-mile-an hour fastball to end the threat.

Bautista was 0-for-4 to snap a 12-game hitting streak.

Left-hander Loup replaced Buehrle in the eighth and allowed three runs to snap his string of 15 1/3 scoreless innings. He walked Mark Ellis with the bases loaded to give the Cardinals a 2-0 lead and allowed a two-run single by Cruz for a 4-0 lead before right-hander Delabar took over and walked his first two batters to force in another run.

The rally started with Craig's one-out double to right that was followed by an intentional walk to Peralta and a single by Taveras.

NOTES: Attendance was announced as 42,981. ...The Blue Jays have been alone in first in the AL East for 16 consecutive days, the longest since 1993 when they were first from June 24 until the end of the season. They won the World Series that year. … The interleague series ends Sunday with Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia (1-0, 5.47 earned-run average) facing Blue Jays right-hander Drew Hutchison (4-3, 3.50 ERA).

Organizations: Toronto Blue Jays, St. Louis Cardinals

Geographic location: TORONTO

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