St. Louis right-hander Danny Cox pitched a perfect game for 7 2/3 innings and finished with a two-hitter, and Jack Clark's two-run homer highlighted a three-run third inning, leading the Cardinals to a 5-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds last night in St. Louis.

Cox held the Reds without a base runner until Dave Concepcion hit a ground single to left with two out in the eighth. Ron Oester followed with the Reds' second hit of the game, but no one else reached base against Cox.

Cox (6-1) pitched his third complete game of the year.

Cox, who threw only 96 pitches, said he could not help but be aware he was close to perfection when he came to bat in the seventh inning before a crowd of 38,910 at Busch Stadium.

"Everybody was clapping and yelling," he said. "I knew it wasn't for my hitting. You're aware of it, but you don't want it to be the biggest thing on your mind. I was just concentrating on each batter, trying to get them out."

Vince Coleman stole two bases for the Cardinals to give him 31 for the season, breaking Bake McBride's team record for a rookie set in 1974.