ST. LOUIS -- All June, the story was the same with Chris Carpenter. Dominant pitching, followed by predictable self-analysis.
Carpenter (11-4) struck out 11 and walked none in his eighth career shutout, his third this season and second in three starts -- including a one-hitter at Toronto on June 14. He improved to 4-1 with an 0.90 ERA in June, and has allowed one run and nine hits in 26 innings spanning his last three starts, lowering his ERA to 2.77.
"I made a lot of good pitches, kept the ball down in the strike zone," Carpenter said. "I repeat a lot of things that I say but that's what makes you effective."
He likely won't get another start this month due to the Cardinals' day off on Monday and manager Tony La Russa's preference to give his starters an extra day of rest.
Carpenter, who tied Florida's Dontrelle Willis for the major-league lead in shutouts, retired his first seven batters with no balls hit to the outfield, striking out the side in the second. He also helped himself at the plate with his first RBI of the season on a squeeze bunt that made it 5-0 in the fourth.
"He hit my target every pitch," said Molina, the Cardinals' catcher. "That's amazing. I don't know how he does it."
St. Louis, an NL-best 47-27, has homered eight times in the last two games while outscoring the Pirates 16-1. The Cardinals have won 14 of their last 15 games against Pittsburgh.
"That's a strong lineup," the Pirates' Mark Redman (4-6) said. "That's why they made it to the World Series last year. They capitalize on every bad pitch and hit it out of the ballpark."
Edmonds has homered three times in the last two games, and Molina has two homers to help the Cardinals put a three-game losing streak behind them.
"We played some pretty mediocre baseball for three or four days and now we've gotten some good pitching and some hitting," Edmonds said. "It's just the game, just the way it goes.
"You never know what you're going to get each night you walk on the field."
Redman gave up five runs and eight hits in five innings, surrendering Molina's solo shot and Edmonds two-run homer in a three-run third. In his last two outings he's given up 11 runs in 12 innings, and he's lost both starts against the Cardinals while allowing 11 runs in nine innings.
"They hit all of my mistakes and they got out to an early lead," Redman said. "Chris could just cruise after that."
Pittsburgh has dropped 10 of 13 overall and is 4-12 in its last 16 road games.
Three straight singles, including a run-scoring hit by So Taguchi, and a balk by Redman highlighted the fourth. Carpenter's squeeze on a 2-1 pitch drove in the second run.
Pujols connected off Ryan Vogelsong, pitching for the first time in six days, in the seventh for his 20th homer.
- Carpenter has 16 career complete games.
- Of Edmonds' 13 homers, only six have come with runners on. But the last three have been two-run drives.
- Pirates pitchers have allowed at least one homer in seven straight games, totaling 15 in that stretch.
- Matt Lawton, who was 1-for-4 with two strikeouts and a groundout, is 4-for-32 against Cardinals pitching.
- Taguchi, who had two homers on Friday and two hits on Saturday, is 23-for-55 (.418) in his last 15 starts.
- The paid crowd of 48,413 gave the Cardinals 11 sellouts in their last 12 games.
- After the game the Pirates optioned LHP Mike Johnston to Triple-A Indianapolis and recalled RHP Ian Snell.
- Pujols has scored an NL-high 26 runs in June.