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CIN@PIT: Bailey throws 16th no-no in Reds history

It's going to be hard for Homer Bailey to top his most recent outing when he takes the mound against the Cardinals -- who clinched the second National League Wild Card berth after the Dodgers lost to the Giants late Tuesday night -- for his final playoff tuneup Wednesday, coming off a no-hit bid against the Pirates on Friday.

If Bailey does manage to double up on the act, he'll be the first pitcher to throw back-to-back no-hitters since the Reds' Johnny Vander Meer did so on June 11 and 15, 1938.

"I've thrown a bunch of no-hitters in my bullpen [sessions]," Bailey joked after Friday's feat. "What is no-hit stuff, really? There's a lot of things that go into it. ... So many things have to go in your favor. One little bloop, one miscue, one wrong positioning by an infielder, there's your hit. A lot of it just has to come down to luck."

The Reds would be happy just to have Bailey (13-10, 3.75 ERA) return to his normal form of late. The 26-year-old righty was 3-1 with a 2.01 ERA in six starts during September and has made it into the sixth inning in 10 consecutive starts.

With 32 starts and 204 innings under his belt this season, Bailey has set career bests in nearly every department, including his 3.75 ERA.

"He's come a long way," catcher Ryan Hanigan said. "You never know how good this guy is going be. He's still got a lot of years left."

Bailey will try to give the Reds win No. 98 for the year, marking their highest win total since the Big Red Machine's World Series-winning club of 1976.

After the Cardinals clinched late Tuesday night, manager Mike Matheny announced that rookie Shelby Miller (1-0, 2.35) will start Wednesday's regular-season finale. Miller -- ranked by MLB.com as the Cards' No. 2 prospect -- will be making his first Major League start, having pitched in five games. He last took the mound Wednesday in Houston, tossing a perfect inning with one strikeout.

Matheny said earlier in the week that if the Cards faced a must-win game Wednesday, they would have sent Adam Wainwright to the mound to get the job done.

The Cardinals will travel to Atlanta on Friday to play one game that will decide who moves on to the NLDS.

Reds: Club finalizes NLDS rotation
The Reds announced Tuesday that Johnny Cueto, Bronson Arroyo and Mat Latos, in that order, will start the first three games of the National League Division Series against the Giants.

"We've been planning this for a while. It didn't take a genius to see how we planned it," said manager Dusty Baker. "What you see is what it is right now."

Baker also was not sure if the Reds would use a fourth starter for the NLDS, even with Bailey at his disposal.

"We're not sure about that," Baker said. "Generally speaking, you only use three starters in the first round. We won't try to guess who's not [in], but that's a pretty good ace in the hole if you've got a guy getting hammered. You usually don't let guys stick around to get hammered. It's not like a regular-season game."

The fifth Reds starter, Mike Leake, will vie for a postseason roster spot as the club finalizes its pitching staff and other roster decisions.

"That is always the toughest part -- who do you leave off?" Baker said.

Cardinals: Club likely to carry one lefty on playoff roster
The Cardinals are expected to keep just one left-handed reliever on the roster for any series past the Wild Card game.

Marc Rzepczynski is the only lefty to be on the 25-man roster all season, but fellow southpaw Sam Freeman has been getting a majority of the pivotal outings recently.

The Cardinals have been comfortable with Edward Mujica, Mitchell Boggs and Jason Motte facing batters from both sides of the plate and haven't seen a need for a late-inning lefty of late.

• Boggs made his 78th appearance Monday, tying Motte's 2011 record for the most appearances by a right-handed reliever in franchise history.

Boggs' 78 appearances ranks fourth-most in the National League.

Worth noting
• The Reds won their 97th game Tuesday, marking the eighth time in franchise history they've reached that mark.

• St. Louis' Jon Jay made his 117th appearance of the season Tuesday and has yet to record an error in the field. He is looking to become just the third Cardinals outfielder to play errorless defense for an entire season, following Curt Flood (1966) and Orlando Palmeiro (2003).

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