|St. Louis «||3||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||2||7||15||0|
TORONTO -- Chris Carpenter had a dominant response for a fan that mocked him in his return to Toronto.
A fan held up a sign that read: "Thanks for four years of frustrating mediocrity Carpenter." Carpenter made a gesture toward the fan as he walked off the mound in the eighth and after he gave a postgame television interview.
"I tipped my hat to the guy that said 'Thanks for the four mediocre years,"' Carpenter said. "He had a big old sign."
Carpenter (9-4) allowed only Russ Adams' two-out double down the right-field line in the sixth. He watched the replay of the hit on the video board, then closed the game by retiring the final 10 batters.
His previous best outing was a two-hitter on April 15, 1999, against Tampa Bay.
"I was thinking about a no-hitter, no question about it. I thought I had a chance," Carpenter said.
The 30-year-old right-hander struck out 10 and walked one for his second shutout of the season and the seventh of his career. He threw 95 pitches, 68 for strikes.
Carpenter said Monday he was shocked when the Blue Jays released him in 2002 after he had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. He pitched six seasons for Toronto, going 49-50 with a 4.83 ERA, before signing with St. Louis in December 2002.
He acknowledged he was excited about facing his former team.
"There's no question I thought about it. My wife talked to me about it and people were saying stuff about it," Carpenter said.
He said he didn't know what the reaction from fans would be.
"There were people getting on me, but that comes with the territory. People don't know the whole story with what went down," Carpenter said.
The 6-foot-6, 230-pounder missed all of 2003 because of the troublesome shoulder, but went 15-5 with a 3.46 ERA last season.
"I'm sure the Jays are missing him right now," Cardinals outfielder Larry Walker said.
Toronto manager John Gibbons was impressed.
"He's so big. He throws downhill at you," Gibbons said. "He throws 94 mph with that big old hook that he can control. It's tough to hit that."
St. Louis manager Tony La Russa thought Carpenter had a chance for the no-hitter and knew his pitcher was determined to beat his former team.
"He was a big part of this organization. He wanted to come back and make an impression, and I think he did," La Russa said.
One day after saying he might retire following the season because of injuries, Walker homered twice. Walker hit a two-run homer off Chad Gaudin (1-2) in the first, and a two-run shot off Gaudin in the fifth. The native of Canada had his 29th multihomer game and his first since last June 25 at Cleveland.
"I've always been realistic in this game, and I know that tomorrow can be a different day, so I'll take today and enjoy it," Walker said. "Hopefully, today is a step in the right direction."
Pujols singled in the fifth and scored on Walker's towering homer to right. Walker entered the game 0-for-10 in his career in Toronto.
Gaudin allowed five runs and 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings.
|Chris Carpenter strikes out 10 and retires the last 10 batters in his best career outing. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|St. Louis Cardinals|
|David Eckstein, SS||5||0||0||0||0||0||3||.301|
|Abraham Nunez, 3B||4||1||3||0||1||0||1||.278|
|Albert Pujols, 1B||4||3||3||2||0||0||2||.329|
|Larry Walker, DH||4||2||3||4||1||1||0||.254|
|Reggie Sanders, LF||4||1||2||1||0||2||3||.270|
|a- Skip Schumaker, PH-LF||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.000|
|Mark Grudzielanek, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||1||3||.313|
|b- Scott Seabol, PH-2B||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.250|
|John Mabry, RF||5||0||0||0||0||3||6||.252|
|So Taguchi, CF||4||0||2||0||0||0||0||.240|
|Yadier Molina, C||4||0||1||0||0||0||2||.251|
|a-struck out for Sanders in the 9th|
|b-hit into fielder's choice for Grudzielanek in the 9th|
|HR - Albert Pujols (16, Batista), Larry Walker 2 (7, Gaudin, Gaudin), Reggie Sanders (13, Gaudin)|
|RBI - Albert Pujols 2 (51), Larry Walker 4 (27), Reggie Sanders (31)|
|2-OUT RBI - Larry Walker 2 (15), Reggie Sanders (17)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|DP - Eckstein-Grudzielanek-Pujols|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Chris Carpenter (W,9-4)||9||1||0||0||1||10||0||3.17|
|Pitches-Strikes - Chris Carpenter 95-68|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Carpenter 11-5|
|Batters Faced - Chris Carpenter 28|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Reed Johnson, RF||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.284|
|Frank Catalanotto, LF||3||0||0||0||0||2||0||.298|
|Vernon Wells, CF||3||0||0||0||0||2||0||.251|
|Shea Hillenbrand, 3B||3||0||0||0||0||2||0||.306|
|Eric Hinske, 1B||3||0||0||0||0||2||0||.255|
|Aaron Hill, DH||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.321|
|Gregg Zaun, C||2||0||0||0||1||0||0||.245|
|Orlando Hudson, 2B||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.240|
|Russ Adams, SS||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||.233|
|2B - Russ Adams (9, Carpenter)|
|Team LOB - 1|
|Outfield Assists - Frank Catalanotto 1|
|DP - Downs-Hinske|
|E - Russ Adams (10, Wild throw), Orlando Hudson (4, Wild throw)|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Chad Gaudin (L,1-2)||4.1||10||5||5||1||4||3||12.19|
|HBP - Pujols (by Chad Gaudin)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Chad Gaudin 86-53, Scott Downs 23-12, Justin Speier 17-12, Scott Schoeneweis 7-5, Miguel Batista 19-16|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chad Gaudin 4-4, Scott Downs 1-3, Justin Speier 1-0, Scott Schoeneweis 1-2, Miguel Batista 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Chad Gaudin 24, Scott Downs 6, Justin Speier 4, Scott Schoeneweis 3, Miguel Batista 6|
|Attendance - 37536|
|Game Time - 2:17|
|Temperature - 68|
|Umpires - Home - Paul Schrieber, First Base - Mike Reilly, Second Base - Andy Fletcher, Third Base - Bob Davidson|