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St. Louis at San Diego

Scoreboard
St. Louis (71-54) «3002000207140
San Diego (52-73)000000000040

Cardinals 7, Padres 0

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SAN DIEGO -- Matt Holliday got the St. Louis Cardinals off to a fast start and Chris Carpenter took over from there.

Carpenter pitched seven crisp innings after Holliday hit a three-run homer in the top of the first, leading the Cardinals to a 7-0 victory over the San Diego Padres on Saturday night.

Holliday hit the first pitch he saw from Kevin Correia over the wall in center, giving the Cardinals a 3-0 lead before Carpenter took the mound.

"Coming out and getting three runs there early was nice," Carpenter said. "Being able to pound the strike zone and get ahead and be aggressive was the key."

 Cards righty Lohse on DL | Padres sign Eckstein to extension

Carpenter (14-3) won his ninth consecutive decision and moved into a tie for the major league lead in victories. The 2005 NL Cy Young Award winner allowed three hits, walked three and struck out six.

"You give a guy like him a three-run lead early in the game," Holliday said, "you feel pretty good about it."

The Cardinals increased their lead in the NL Central to eight games over the Chicago Cubs, who lost 2-0 at Los Angeles. It's the largest margin for any division leader in baseball.

St. Louis is 12-3 since Chicago took over the Central lead by percentage points on Aug. 6, while the Cubs are in a 4-11 rut.

"It says we are staying consistent," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "We are competing."

Holliday's homer was his sixth since he was acquired from Oakland on July 24. Holliday, who also had an infield single and walked twice, is hitting .400 with 25 RBIs in 27 games with St. Louis.

"I was trying to hit the ball on a line," Holliday said about his shot. "That's my goal any time. I was just trying to hit a hard drive up the middle."

The Cardinals have the best record in the majors (19-8) since the Holliday trade.

Colby Rasmus and pinch-hitter Rick Ankiel added solo homers as St. Louis won for the 18th time in 24 games.

"On both of them, I missed in just the worst spot you could throw to those guys," Correia said.

Carpenter allowed just one runner to reach second base and lowered his major league-best ERA to 2.16. In his last 10 starts, Carpenter is 9-0 with a 1.92 ERA.

"My stuff was good, my location was good," Carpenter said. "The walks were frustrating. But it was a real nice win all the way around."

David Eckstein reached on an infield single in the fourth inning, Adrian Gonzalez singled in the seventh and Will Venable added a double later in the inning for the only hits off Carpenter. After the hits by Eckstein and Gonzalez, the Cardinals turned double plays against Chase Headley.

"I've seen it before," Eckstein said of Carpenter, a teammate for three years with St. Louis. "When he's locked in, he's very tough to take good swings off of."

Brad Thompson and Dennys Reyes each got three outs to complete the four-hitter for St. Louis' eighth shutout. The Padres have been shut out 10 times.

Carpenter faced the Padres for the first time since he beat them twice in the 2006 division series to help the Cardinals advance.

Carpenter tied teammate Adam Wainwright, Jason Marquis of Colorado, Boston's Josh Beckett and CC Sabathia of the New York Yankees for the big league lead in wins. Beckett and Sabathia face each other Sunday night at Fenway Park.

Albert Pujols, who leads the majors with 39 homers, went 1 for 4 and tied his career high with three strikeouts. It was his third multistrikeout game this season.

San Diego has lost 10 of 11 games to St. Louis.

Correia (8-10) allowed five runs and 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings.

Notes

Padres rookie Kyle Blanks injured his right heel while sliding into second base in the seventh inning. Blanks, who played left field in the eighth, was removed in a double switch in the ninth. ... Pujols is batting .217 (5 for 23) in six games against San Diego this year. ... Ankiel's pinch homer was the second of his career, the other also coming at Petco Park against the Padres on May 21, 2008. ... San Diego signed Eckstein to a one-year contract extension. Eckstein, who leads NL 2B in fielding percentage, signed a one-year, free-agent deal in January. ... The Padres observed a moment of silence before the game for Mario Thomas, the club's first Spanish broadcaster. He passed away on Friday at the age of 85. ... There were two great defensive plays in the third. San Diego LF Kyle Blanks robbed Skip Schumaker of a hit with a diving grab in the top of the inning and Cardinals SS Brendan Ryan took a hit away from Tony Gwynn with a diving catch in the bottom half.
 
Copyright 2014 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.
 
 
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Players of the Game
St. Louis

M. Holliday
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
St. Louis

C. Carpenter
IP 7.0
H 3
ER 0
BB 3
K 6
 
St. Louis Cardinals
Skip Schumaker, 2B4011110 .294
Brendan Ryan, SS5220004 .294
Albert Pujols, 1B4110131 .316
    Jason LaRue, C0000000 .239
Matt Holliday, LF3123200 .315
Ryan Ludwick, RF5021002 .264
    Kyle McClellan, P0000000 .000
    Dennys Reyes, P0000000 .000
Colby Rasmus, CF4111102 .254
Mark DeRosa, 3B4120003 .259
   a- Joe Thurston, PH-3B1000000 .230
Yadier Molina, C-1B5010003 .290
Chris Carpenter, P3010001 .152
   b- Rick Ankiel, PH-RF2111010 .238
Totals40714755  
a-lined out for DeRosa in the 9th
b-homered for Carpenter in the 8th
Batting
3B - Brendan Ryan (6, Perdomo)
HR - Matt Holliday (17, Correia), Colby Rasmus (13, Correia), Rick Ankiel (10, Perdomo)
RBI - Skip Schumaker (32), Matt Holliday 3 (80), Ryan Ludwick (75), Colby Rasmus (41), Rick Ankiel (34)
2-OUT RBI - Skip Schumaker (15), Ryan Ludwick (17)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - Schumaker-Ryan-Pujols, Schumaker-Ryan-Pujols
St. Louis Cardinals
Chris Carpenter (W,14-3) 7300360 2.16
Kyle McClellan 1000020 2.81
Dennys Reyes 1100110 3.99
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Carpenter 102-61, Kyle McClellan 12-8, Dennys Reyes 17-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Carpenter 8-5, Kyle McClellan 1-0
Batters Faced - Chris Carpenter 25, Kyle McClellan 3, Dennys Reyes 5
San Diego Padres
Tony Gwynn Jr., CF4000000 .271
David Eckstein, 2B4010010 .255
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B3010111 .272
Chase Headley, 3B4010013 .256
Will Venable, RF3010100 .267
Kyle Blanks, LF1000210 .248
    Ryan Webb, P0000000 .000
   a- Kevin Kouzmanoff, PH1000002 .259
Henry Blanco, C3000013 .231
Everth Cabrera, SS3000031 .269
Kevin Correia, P1000000 .139
    Joe Thatcher, P0000000 .000
   b- Luis Rodriguez, PH1000000 .215
    Luis Perdomo, P0000000 .000
    Oscar Salazar, LF1000010 .333
Totals2904049  
a-flied out for Webb in the 9th
b-flied out for Thatcher in the 6th
Batting
2B - Chase Headley (23, Reyes), Will Venable (10, Carpenter)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Eckstein-Gonzalez
San Diego Padres
Kevin Correia (L,8-10) 5.21055222 4.46
Joe Thatcher 0.1000000 3.13
Luis Perdomo 1.2322321 4.68
Ryan Webb 1.1100010 4.91
WP - Luis Perdomo (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Correia 95-60, Joe Thatcher 4-3, Luis Perdomo 42-22, Ryan Webb 20-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Correia 5-9, Joe Thatcher 1-0, Luis Perdomo 2-1
Batters Faced - Kevin Correia 28, Joe Thatcher 1, Luis Perdomo 11, Ryan Webb 5
Game Information
Attendance - 38156
Game Time - 2:34
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Ted Barrett, First Base - Todd Tichenor, Second Base - Chris Guccione, Third Base - Mike Winters