St. Louis (9-5) at Arizona (6-8)

Fair Currently: Phoenix, AZ
Temp: 53° F
  • Game info: 9:40 pm EDT Wed Apr 21, 2010
  • TV: FSMW
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The St. Louis Cardinals’ stretch of strong starts came to an abrupt end in their last game. They can begin a new streak behind ace Chris Carpenter(notes).

With the Cardinals looking to win their first three road series for the first time in 11 years, Carpenter will try to improve his flawless career record against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday night.

Every St. Louis starter went at least seven innings while allowing two or fewer earned runs in seven straight games prior to Tuesday. That streak ended when Kyle Lohse(notes) lasted three-plus innings and gave up a season-high seven runs in a 9-7 loss to the Diamondbacks, who had dropped five straight.

It was the shortest outing by a St. Louis starter this season and the most runs allowed by a Cardinal since Carpenter (2-0, 3.50 ERA) yielded seven in an 8-7 loss at Milwaukee on April 11.

The right-hander rebounded from that outing with seven innings of one-run ball in a 4-3 victory over New York on Friday. He struck out a season-high 10 and did not allow a home run after giving up five homers in his first two outings.

Carpenter is 3-0 with a 3.27 ERA in four career starts at Chase Field, and 4-0 with a 1.83 ERA in seven total starts against Arizona.

He can give the Cardinals (9-5) victories in their first three road series for the first time since they took five in a row away from the old Busch Stadium to open 1999.

Yadier Molina(notes) is expected to be back behind the plate Wednesday after Cardinals rookie catcher Bryan Anderson(notes) went 1 for 4 in his first major league start Tuesday.

Molina is 3 for 3 with a homer against scheduled starter Edwin Jackson(notes) (1-1, 3.50), who is coming off a strong start.

The right-hander allowed three hits in six scoreless innings in San Diego on Friday, but three relievers gave up six runs in a 6-3 defeat.

Arizona’s bullpen, though, was solid Tuesday as Juan Gutierrez(notes) and Chad Qualls(notes) combined for four strikeouts and no walks in three scoreless innings.

“I don’t know what more we could have done,” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. “We had some great at-bats, we got some runs and we couldn’t stop them.”

The Diamondbacks trailed 2-0, 4-2 and 7-5 before Mark Reynolds’(notes) homer in the fourth inning gave them the lead for good.

“Nice to answer like we did,” second baseman Kelly Johnson(notes) said. “We haven’t done that in the past week and that’s nice, that’s huge.”

Jackson, 0-1 with a 3.18 ERA in two starts against St. Louis, will be looking for a similar offensive performance from his teammates. Arizona (6-8) had a season-high 15 hits, although four came from starting pitcher Dan Haren(notes).

Cardinals right fielder Ryan Ludwick(notes) had his ninth career multi-homer game while Albert Pujols(notes) extended his hitting streak against the Diamondbacks to nine with a third-inning solo homer. Pujols has batted .371 with five home runs and 12 RBIs during that stretch.

St. Louis, winner of eight of the last 11 meetings, is looking for its fourth series victory in a row over Arizona.

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Starting Pitchers

C. Carpenter StL vs. E. Jackson Atl
16-9 Record 10-12
3.22 ERA 4.47
179 K 181
63 BB 78
1.18 WHIP 1.39


Wednesday, Apr 21