Albert Pujols hit his 33rd homer, Carpenter scattered seven hits over 7 1-3 innings and the St. Louis Cardinals beat Colorado 1-0 Tuesday night to hand Jennings the first complete-game loss for a Rockies pitcher at home in franchise history.
“Guts. A lot of guts on both sides,” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said.
Pujols hit a 1-1 pitch from Jennings (6-9) into the right-field stands in the sixth. That was all the Cardinals could manage against Jennings, who allowed four hits and two walks.
“It’s a changeup outside and four inches off the ground,” Jennings said of the pitch to Pujols. “Not many people can hit that out.”
Carpenter (10-4) repeatedly worked out of trouble to put St. Louis in position to win. He allowed runners to reach third base in each of the first three innings and retired the side in order just twice.
“I battled tonight, no question about it, but you are going to have those nights,” Carpenter said. “I’ll battle every night if I go 7 1-3 and not give up any runs; especially against a lineup like this. So it was a nice night.”
Carpenter struck out four and walked three, one intentionally. He was pulled in the bottom of the eighth after giving up a one-out single to Matt Holliday, but reliever Randy Flores got Todd Helton to fly out to center and Brad Hawpe struck out swinging.
Jason Isringhausen pitched the ninth for his 28th save.
It was the eighth time this season the Rockies have scored one run or less in one of Jennings’ starts.
Jamey Carroll led off the bottom of the first with a double and took third on Clint Barmes’ sacrifice bunt, but third baseman Scott Rolen threw him out at the plate when he tried to score on Garrett Atkins’ bouncer to third.
The Rockies ran themselves out of the inning again in the fourth when Choo Freeman struck out on a 3-2 pitch and Brad Hawpe, who had singled, was thrown out at second on a botched hit-and-run play.
Rolen stopped the Rockies again with one on and two out in the fifth, stretching to his right to spear a grounder by Atkins, then firing from his knees to throw him out.
“That play he made was huge,” La Russa said. “As it turned out, it changed the complexion of the game.”
Jennings settled in after that, giving up a walk in the second and then retiring 12 consecutive batters before Pujols’ homer with two out in the sixth.
It was the third 1-0 game in the history of Coors Field. … Barmes’ infield single in the fifth gave him a 13-game hitting streak. … Pujols has now scored 700 runs in his career.