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STL@LAA: Miller fans six to notch ninth win of year

Shelby Miller's All-Star break was a little longer than most.

The Cardinals reworked their rotation to give Miller, who is in his first full Major League season, some extra rest. With the break, and another off-day on Monday, Miller will be pitching on Tuesday for the first time in 13 days.

Miller, 22, has already logged 104 2/3 innings in 18 starts and thinks the added breather was a smart idea. The right-hander has nine wins and a 2.92 ERA, but he did allow 10 runs in 12 2/3 innings during his final three starts before the break.

"I'm not tired. Physically, I feel great," Miller said. "I feel like I'm where I need to be. This past start I was kind of off a little bit. These sides that I've been having, I'm just working on getting the ball down and throwing strikes."

The Phillies will send Jonathan Pettibone, another young righty, to face Miller.

In his rookie campaign, Pettibone has been a rather reliable option for the Phillies. In his last three starts, a span of 17 innings, he is 2-0 with a 2.65 ERA and 18 strikeouts.

Phillies: Successful July put to test on Midwest tour
Despite dropping two of three to New York over the weekend, Philadelphia has played some good baseball this month.

Since the end of June, the Phillies are 10-6 and have won four of their five series. But that string of success will be challenged when they face the Cardinals and the Tigers, two first-place teams.

With their win over the Mets on Friday, the Phillies climbed above the .500 mark for just the second time this season, but they are back below it (49-50) after losing two in a row.

The Phillies have historically been better in the second half under manager Charlie Manuel, and if they hope to get in serious playoff contention, they're going to need that trend to continue.

"I think we're going to continue to ride our momentum, continue to ride our hot streak," center fielder John Mayberry Jr. said. "I think the team's best baseball is definitely ahead. We're getting some guys that are starting to play well. Hopefully, we just keep rolling."

• Closer Jonathan Papelbon pitched on Sunday for the first time since July 14, throwing a scoreless eighth inning with one strikeout in a 5-0 loss.

Cardinals: Matheny concerned with how Carpenter feels, not results
Right-hander Chris Carpenter had a rough outing for Triple-A Memphis on Saturday, but his pitching line is not the primary worry of manager Mike Matheny.

"Right now our main concern is how he feels," Matheny said. "And once again, I trust his evaluation as much as anything. He's a pretty honest evaluator of himself. I'm excited to talk to him and see exactly how he felt."

Carpenter allowed four runs on nine hits in 3 2/3 innings during his second Minor League start. The 2005 National League Cy Young Award winner has not pitched in the Majors this season after experiencing nerve issues prior to Spring Training. He also had trouble with his back as he tried to return.

Carpenter, who has 144 career wins, has pitched in just three Major League games since 2011.

Worth noting
• The Phillies and the Cardinals are the only two teams in the Majors with an off-day on Monday.

• Phillies catcher Erik Kratz played on Sunday in his first game since June 8 and went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. He missed more than a month with a torn meniscus in his left knee. Comments