Hoping to become just the second 12-game winner in the National League, Chris Carpenter will take the ball for the St. Louis Cardinals when they continue their four-game series with the Colorado Rockies.
Carpenter has won three straight decisions in impressive fashion to up his record to 11-4 in 16 starts. Florida’s Dontrelle Willis leads the NL with 12 wins. Washington’s Livan Hernandez, who is 11-2, will also be trying for his 12th win Friday against the Chicago Cubs.
Carpenter finished June 4-1 with a 0.90 ERA after pitching a four-hitter Saturday in an 8-0 win over Pittsburgh. The 30-year-old right-hander struck out 11 and walked none in his eighth career shutout. He has allowed one run over his last 26 innings, lowering his ERA to 2.77.
“He hit my target every pitch,” said Yadier Molina, the Cardinals’ catcher. “That’s amazing. I don’t know how he does it.”
At 6-31, the Rockies have the worst road record in the majors. Colorado had dropped five straight and 11 of 12 away from Coors Field while getting outscored 77-32.
Albert Pujols had a single and two walks to extend his hitting streak to 12 games for the Cardinals, who missed a chance to climb a season-high 22 games above .500.
After hitting 16 home runs in the first six games of their 10-game homestand, the Cardinals advanced only two runners to second base against Francis and totaled six hits.
The Cardinals were 16-11 in June, their ninth straight winning month.