St. Louis, MO – Matt Carpenter's go-ahead RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning lifted the St. Louis Cardinals to 1-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds in the regular season finale.
The defending-champion Cardinals (88-74), who clinched the National League's second wild card spot on Tuesday following the Los Angeles Dodgers' loss to the San Francisco Giants, will travel to Atlanta to take on the Braves on Friday at 5:07 p.m. (ET).
The winner will advance to the division series and take on the Washington Nationals in the opening game on Sunday.
Cardinals starter Shelby Miller took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, but Wilson Valdez's two-out bloop single into right field broke up the no-no.
"Shelby looked terrific," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "He came out there against a very good team that threw their lineup out there that they will use the first day of the playoffs. So pretty impressive what he was able to do."
Coming off his own no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates last week, Reds starter Homer Bailey fanned six and scattered four hits over four frames in a no-decision.
"Homer finished up real strong," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He is in a good place. He likes how he's throwing the ball and so do we."
The NL Central-winning Reds (97-65) will open the playoffs on the road Saturday at 9:37 p.m. (et) against the Giants.
Shane Robinson hit a one-out single off Jonathan Broxton (3-3) in the eighth before Tony Cingrani came in from the bullpen and walked Skip Schumaker to put runners on first and second.
Carpenter came up next and ripped a sharply hit grounder that handcuffed Valdez at second base and allowed Robinson to score.
Victor Marte (3-2) tossed a scoreless eighth to pick up the win and Jason Motte notched his 42nd save after recording up the final two outs in the ninth.
The Cardinals was 3-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base, while Cincinnati finished 0-for-1 with RISP and stranded five.