Cincinnati at St. Louis

St. Louis
W: C. Carpenter (4-0) L: A. Harang (5-6)
HR: CIN - L. Nix (7)   STL - A. Pujols (17)

Carpenter's three-hitter, Pujols' three RBI pace Cardinals past Reds wire reports

ST. LOUIS -- Chris Carpenter liked what he saw right from the start.

Carpenter took advantage of Cincinnati's free swingers, pitching a three-hitter for his first complete game in more than two years, and Albert Pujols took care of the offense with a two-run homer and RBI double as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Reds 3-1 on Thursday night.

"They showed it from the beginning of the game that they were going to be aggressive early in the count, they weren't going to let me get deep," he said. "I was able to make good quality pitches down in the strike zone. That's what happens when you get an aggressive team that wants to hit and you're able to make quality pitches, you're going to be able to get quick outs."

The victory gave St. Louis a split of the four-game series and put the Cardinals in a tie for first in the National League Central with Milwaukee, which lost to the Florida Marlins.

Carpenter (4-0) needed only 95 pitches for his 26th complete game and first since Sept. 11, 2006, at Houston. With the help of two double plays, he faced the minimum through 7 2/3 innings. Carpenter's ERA rose to 0.71 ERA.

Laynce Nix spoiled the shutout bid with his 18th home run to right field in the eighth.

  La Russa sues Twitter over alleged fake page | Doyel: Twitter will destroy us all

Since returning from the disabled list May 20 with an oblique injury, Carpenter has allowed three earned runs and 14 hits in 28 innings. For Pujols, it was another Carpenter gem that didn't command too much analysis.

"It's not rocket science," Pujols said. "Look at the job he did. He made one mistake the whole game and Nix is swinging the bat really good, took advantage and hit it out of the park."

Carpenter had retired 12 straight before Nix's hit. He struck out three, walked none and singled in the seventh for his first hit of the year. He gave up singles to Chris Dickerson in the first and third, but got Brandon Phillips to ground into double plays both times to end the inning.

Aaron Harang (5-6) went the distance in losing his second straight. He gave up eight hits, striking out three and walking two in eight innings. He handled the Cardinals well in a 8-3 victory May 9 at Busch, spreading seven hits in seven innings and striking out seven.

This time around, Pujols didn't give Harang a chance to settle in.

"Just the way he's swinging right now," Harang said. "He's being aggressive, he wasn't letting me get any counts on him. He was coming right after me. He knows I'm going to go right at him and I'm not going to nitpick with him. He took advantage of that."

  Cards promote Todd, designate Boyer

Pujols' 17th home run to left-center came one out after Skip Schumaker singled to lead off the third. He drove in his 48th run of the year with a double off the left-field wall that scored Colby Rasmus in the sixth, marking the fifth consecutive game in which Pujols has doubled.

He has now reached base at least twice in 15 consecutive games to tie Keith Hernandez's streak in 1980. They are the longest such streaks in 50 years for the Cardinals.

The home run came on Harang's first offering of the at-bat.

"It was a good pitch to hit and I put the best swing on it of the day," Pujols said.

The Reds finished their seven-game road trip with a 2-5 record, including a three-game sweep at Milwaukee, putting them 2½ games behind the Cardinals and Milwaukee. They return home for a three-game set against Chicago starting Friday before a six-game road trip.

Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said there's not reason to dwell on the recent slide.

"You got to move on. You got no choice," he said. "They say good pitching beats good hitting and that was a great pitching performance tonight. Aaron was good, but Carpenter was better."


  • The last time the Reds played a game in which both starters went the distance was August 26, 2004, when Harang beat Carpenter 1-0.
  • Thursday marked Harang's 200th career start and is now 74-72 in his career.
  • Jay Bruce finished the Reds' seven-game road trip 1-for-27, hitless in his last 17 at-bats.
  • The Cardinals are 8-0 on Thursdays.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Chris Carpenter has allowed three earned runs and 14 hits in 28 innings since returning from the DL.  (US Presswire)
Chris Carpenter has allowed three earned runs and 14 hits in 28 innings since returning from the DL. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

C. Carpenter
IP 9.0
H 3
ER 1
BB 0
K 3
St. Louis

A. Pujols
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

Cincinnati Reds
Jerry Hairston Jr., 3B4000000 .260
Chris Dickerson, CF3020000 .250
Brandon Phillips, 2B3000012 .285
Jay Bruce, RF3000000 .212
Ramon Hernandez, 1B3000010 .276
Laynce Nix, LF3111000 .288
Alex Gonzalez, SS3000000 .215
Ryan Hanigan, C3000010 .316
Aaron Harang, P2000000 .167
   a- Jonny Gomes, PH1000000 .316
a-flied out for Harang in the 9th
HR - Laynce Nix (7, Carpenter)
RBI - Laynce Nix (18)
2-OUT RBI - Laynce Nix (6)
DP - Hairston-B. Phillips-Hernandez, A. Gonzalez-B. Phillips-Hernandez, B. Phillips-A. Gonzalez-Hernandez, Hernandez-A. Gonzalez
E - Brandon Phillips (4, Throwing)
Cincinnati Reds
Aaron Harang (L,5-6) 8833241 4.11
Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Harang 115-74
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Harang 10-7
Batters Faced - Aaron Harang 31
St. Louis Cardinals
Skip Schumaker, 2B3110101 .302
    Brian Barden, 3B0000000 .242
Colby Rasmus, CF4110012 .248
Albert Pujols, 1B4123001 .346
Ryan Ludwick, RF4010010 .240
Rick Ankiel, LF3010012 .226
Yadier Molina, C2000101 .259
Joe Thurston, 3B-2B3000003 .261
Chris Carpenter, P3010001 .083
Brendan Ryan, SS3010010 .281
2B - Albert Pujols (13, Harang)
HR - Albert Pujols (17, Harang)
RBI - Albert Pujols 3 (48)
2-OUT RBI - Albert Pujols 2 (9)
Team LOB - 4
DP - Thurston-Schumaker-Pujols, Thurston-Schumaker-Pujols
St. Louis Cardinals
Chris Carpenter (W,4-0) 9311031 0.71
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Carpenter 95-66
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Carpenter 14-8
Batters Faced - Chris Carpenter 28
Game Information
Attendance - 39249
Game Time - 2:05
Temperature - 69
Umpires - Home - D.J. Reyburn, First Base - Jim Joyce, Second Base - Brian Runge, Third Base - Derryl Cousins