Manager Dale Sveum quickly stated it was too early to assume that left-hander Chris Rusin was pitching himself into contention for a spot in the Chicago Cubs’ rotation in 2014.

“There’s eight months till spring training so we’ll cross those bridges when we get to them” Svuem said.

But Sveum Rusin and his teammates enjoyed the moment Friday night after Rusin helped the Cubs achieve a rare feat in a 3-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Rusin who pitched six scoreless innings became the first Cubs pitcher to throw at least six scoreless innings at St. Louis since Ken Holtzman threw seven shutout innings in the second game of a doubleheader on Sept. 19 1979 at old Busch Stadium.

And Rusin along with four relievers combined to throw the first shutout by the Cubs at St. Louis for the first time since June 23 1997 when Jeremi Gonzalez threw a shutout over Fernando Valenzuela.

“I wanted to get ahead of the hitters” Rusin said. “I’m not an overpowering guy. So If I fall behind in the count I might be in trouble.”

Sveum marveled at Rusin’s ability to attack the strike zone.

“His ball can move so much that he can get swings and misses at some balls that are quite a ways out of the zone” Sveum said. “But he makes the ball move. He keeps the ball down.”

Rusin (2-1) lowered his ERA to 3.08 in five starts but he seemed more pleased that he played a part in the first shutout by the Cubs at St. Louis in 16 seasons rather than continuing to make an impression toward 2014.