The Cardinals have only to be concerned about the Pittsburgh Pirates now in the National League Central Division race.

The Cincinnati Reds who will be one of two wild-card teams in the playoffs were eliminated from the division push earlier today when they lost to New York. The Cardinals then reduced their magic number over Pittsburgh to 2 by completing a sweep of the Washington Nationals with a 4-1 win at Busch Stadium.

Shelby Miller went six innings allowing four hits for his 15th victory. The Cardinals’ rookie-laden bullpen of Seth Maness Kevin Siegrist Carlos Martinez and Trevor Rosenthal (three saves in three days) worked the last three innings permitting just one single.

Matt Adams hit his eighth homer this month and 17th this season and also doubled to set up a run. Yadier Molina’s two-run single broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth as the Cardinals denied Washington righthander Jordan Zimmermann’s bid to become the only 20-game winner in the National League this year.

The Cardinals who eliminated Washington from the playoffs last year won all six meetings between the teams this season and are 15-2 against them at new Busch III.

Maness douses another rally

Rookie Seth Maness induced his 15th double play of the season in the seventh inning today to erase a runner left by fellow rookie Shelby Miller and preserve a 4-1 lead for the Cardinals over the Washington Nationals.

Miller seeking his 15th win left after six full innings having thrown 90 pitches and allowing four hits and one run. He walked Adam LaRoche to open the seventh but Maness entered to get Wilson Ramos on a double-play roller to third baseman Daniel Descalso.

Adams hits 8th homer this month 17th overall

Matt Adams drilled his eighth homer of the month and 17th of the season in the sixth inning to give the Cardinals a 4-1 lead over the Washington Nationals today.

Shelby Miller bidding for his 15th win gave up just four hits over the first six innings for the Cardinals