Cardinals 4, Cubs 0
The St. Louis Cardinals’ right-hander threw eight sharp innings, had two hits and an RBI and started a big double play in a 4-0 victory over the Cubs on Thursday night. He’s 3-0 with a 2.42 ERA against them this season.
“Carpenter pitched an awesome game,” Sammy Sosa said.
The NL Central leaders took two of three from their closest competition, and lead the division by three games after a 7-2 homestand. The Cardinals, who scored all their runs in the fourth with the help of an error by shortstop Rey Ordonez, are 29-8 against the Cubs at Busch Stadium since 2000.
“Our offense just has a different look when the leadoff guy gets on,” manager Tony La Russa said. “So let’s hope he stays hot.”
The Cardinals haven’t lost a series since May 21-23, when they dropped two of three at Chicago.
Carpenter (8-2) emerged unscathed from bases-loaded, one-out jams in the second and fourth, and raised his hands in triumph after striking out Todd Walker on a full count with runners on second and third for the final out in the seventh.
“As the game went on I got stronger and felt better and started hitting my spots a little more and my breaking ball got better,” Carpenter said. “Everything, pretty much, was better.”
Carpenter struck out nine, tying his season best, and walked one. He gave up seven hits before giving way to Jason Isringhausen, who worked a one-hit ninth to finish St. Louis’ fourth shutout of the season.
Matt Clement (7-6) allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings, falling to 3-1 this season against the Cardinals. Ordonez’s error on a potential double-play ball in the fourth led to three unearned runs.
“I thought I threw pretty well,” Clement said. “The hit by Carpenter hurt me. They hit the ball in unfortunate places.”
The Cubs, who lost for only the third time in 12 games, also ran into a big out in the second.
Corey Patterson’s drive off the center-field wall with runners on first and second ended up a long, unproductive single. Sosa hesitated running from second and was thrown out at the plate with Jim Edmonds and shortstop Hector Luna participating in the relay.
“I thought he was going to catch it and had to tag up at second,” Sosa said.
La Russa said Edmonds did a good job of acting to lull the Cubs, pretending he was going to catch the ball.
“I bought it,” La Russa said. “I saw it go and I thought, he’s got it. It’s a good deke. Outfielders do it, infielders do it, but they still had to convert the relay.”
The Cubs loaded the bases again with one out in the fourth before Ordonez grounded into a 1-2-3 double play.
Clement is 0-2 in his last three starts despite a 1.80 ERA during that span.His last victory was June 8 over the Cardinals in Chicago.
Cardinals SS Edgar Renteria, who’s 1-for-24 against Clement, got a day off. … RHP Woody Williams will get an extra day of rest before his next start Saturday at Kansas City. Matt Morris will move ahead of him, going on four days’ rest on Friday. … Tom Goodwin is 10-for-17 against Carpenter after his pinch-hit single in the seventh. He’s 3-for-16 as a pinch-hitter overall. … The Cardinals are 11-3 in Carpenter’s starts and have won 10 of the last 11 despite averaging only 4.5 runs per game, lowest in the rotation. … The Cubs failed in an attempt to win three straight road series for the first time since April 29-May 19, 2003. They had a seven-game road winning streak before losing 10-9 on Wednesday. … The Cubs have committed five errors in the last twogames. … Chicago has been shut out seven times.