After losing to last-place Houston on May 13, Carpenter (5-1, 2.80 ERA) allowed a season-high nine hits over eight innings in Tuesday’s 3-2 win over Washington.
“It’s not what you do when you have your best stuff, it’s what you do when you don’t,” said Carpenter, who improved to 4-1 with a 1.75 ERA in five home starts. “My stuff wasn’t fabulous and I was able to win.”
The veteran right-hander last faced the Angels on Aug. 29, 2000, while with Toronto.
Since joining the Cardinals in 2004, Carpenter is 0-1 with a 2.77 ERA in two home interleague starts.
The right-hander has gone seven or more innings in six of his last seven starts, and St. Louis could use another extended outing from him with the team’s bullpen logging 11 2-3 innings in the first two games of this series.
Carpenter could benefit if the Cardinals (25-19) score sooner than they did in Saturday’s 10-7 loss. After getting 11 hits in Friday’s 9-5 victory, St. Louis had just one in the first six-plus innings - Matt Holliday’s(notes) leadoff homer in the second - before scoring five runs in the final three frames.
Two-time reigning NL MVP Albert Pujols(notes) is 0 for 7 in the series, and has one homer in his last 25 games. A career .350 hitter in interleague play, Pujols has a two-run home run in one career at-bat against Sunday’s starter, Jered Weaver(notes) (4-2, 3.40).
With Los Angeles (21-24) trying to win its second straight series to finish a seven-game trip, Weaver also will be looking for a better performance than in his last outing. Staked to a 7-3 lead, the right-hander yielded four of his season-high seven runs in the fifth inning of Tuesday’s 8-7 loss at Texas.
“The guys picked me up and got some runs for me and I let them down,” said Weaver, 3-1 with a 2.35 ERA in six career road interleague starts.
Weaver could get plenty of run support Sunday given the way the Angels are hitting the ball lately. Mike Napoli(notes) has a pair of homers and four RBIs in the series, and Kendry Morales(notes) (4 for 7), Torii Hunter(notes) (3 for 8) and Hideki Matsui(notes) have all driven in two against the Cardinals.
Hunter, who is batting .364 in his last nine road interleague games, is 3 for 6 with a homer lifetime against Carpenter, while Bobby Abreu(notes) is 13 for 23 with three homers and 10 RBIs against the two-time All-Star.
The Angels, who were a major league-best 14-4 in interleague play in 2009, have won 24 of 33 in NL ballparks.
Los Angeles and St. Louis have split eight all-time meetings.