John Lackey pitched seven strong innings, rookie Tommy Pham continued his productive hitting and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Cincinnati Reds 3-1 Tuesday night.

Lackey (13-9) allowed only a first-inning homer by Jay Bruce during his 16th quality start in 16 outings at Busch Stadium. The veteran right-hander struck out seven, walked none and lowered his home ERA to 1.97.

St. Louis improved to a major league-best 95-56 with its second straight low-scoring victory over Cincinnati. Steve Cishek worked the ninth to earn his first save for St. Louis.

Pham hit a sacrifice fly to deep center in the seventh that scored Tony Cruz and broke a 1-all tie. Pham drove in the Cardinals' first run with a third-inning double that brought in Matt Carpenter, who doubled with one out. Since moving into the lineup eight games ago, Pham has nine RBIs, eight extra-base hits and is batting .407.