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Vazquez takes shutout into ninth, Braves rough up Carpenter in rout

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- Javier Vazquez doesn't think he was ever this efficient.

Vazquez needed just 94 pitches to shut down the St. Louis Cardinals, and the Atlanta Braves roughed up Chris Carpenter in a 9-2 win on Sunday.

"I don't remember throwing a complete game with less than 100 pitches," Vazquez said. "Usually I'm at 100 pitches by the seventh inning. I feel really good about that."

Vazquez allowed a leadoff single to Skip Schumaker and then retired the next 17 batters before Schumaker reached on an infield single in the sixth. It was the 25th complete game of Vazquez's career and his second of the season.

Vazquez (13-9) has won his last three decisions. He stuck out eight while walking none. He threw just 94 pitches.

St. Louis hadn't been swept since losing three in a row at Houston July 20-22 and hadn't been swept at home since losing four straight to the Colorado Rockies June 5-8.

"We got beat in two one-run games," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "Today, we just got pounded."

Carpenter, a Cy Young candidate, had his worst outing of the season. He allowed seven earned runs on nine hits in six innings.

"I made some bad pitches but I also made some good pitches," Carpenter said. "I just wasn't able to make a pitch to get out of the inning, bottom line."

After getting two quick outs to start the third, Carpenter (16-4) gave up six runs. With the bases loaded, Adam LaRoche hit a two-run double down the right-field line. Yunel Escobar then singled in two runs and Matt Diaz finished the scoring with a two-run ground-rule double.

"We were just able to put together some big hits with two outs," Kelly Johnson said. "Just getting those big hits, that was the ballgame."

Atlanta finished Carpenter's day in the sixth when Nate McLouth singled to right to score Diaz, who had been hit by a pitch leading off.

"We did a lot of hitting against a great pitcher," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "I don't know what it was today about Carpenter. We were able to hit line drives and find holes. Even in the first two innings we hit about four balls really hard."

The loss was Carpenter's first since June 30th when the San Francisco Giants beat the Cardinals 6-3 snapping his 11-game winning streak. Carpenter's league-leading 2.16 ERA jumped to 2.45. He now trails the Giants' Tim Lincecum (2.34).

The Braves made it 8-0 in the eighth when David Ross doubled home Diaz off reliever Brad Thompson.

LaRoche hit a solo shot in the ninth, his 22nd of the season. He has now hit safely in 26 of his last 29 games.

Matt Holliday had a two-run single in the ninth for the Cardinals.

"He's had a good year," Holliday said about Vazquez. "He got a big lead early and it allowed him to dictate how he pitched and he made it tough on us."

Notes

  • The Cardinals are now 5-2 against Atlanta when Carpenter starts.
  • Braves C Brian McCann whose two run double was the game winner yesterday, is 8-for-13 (.615) since snapping an 0-for-20 spell last Thursday.
 
Copyright 2015 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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After giving up a leadoff single, Javier Vazquez retires the next 17 batters before allowing another hit. (AP)
After giving up a leadoff single, Javier Vazquez retires the next 17 batters before allowing another hit. (AP)

Players of the Game
Atlanta

J. Vazquez
IP 9.0
H 7
ER 2
BB 0
K 8
St. Louis

S. Schumaker
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
 

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Atlanta Braves
Nate McLouth, CF5141000 .270
Martin Prado, 3B5110014 .291
Garret Anderson, LF3100100 .275
    Reid Gorecki, LF1000010 .217
Adam LaRoche, 1B5223010 .273
Yunel Escobar, SS4112110 .303
Kelly Johnson, 2B5120011 .222
Matt Diaz, RF2212001 .320
David Ross, C4011001 .258
Javier Vazquez, P4000002 .194
Totals38912925  
Batting
2B - Adam LaRoche (32, Carpenter), Kelly Johnson (19, Carpenter), David Ross (8, Thompson)
HR - Adam LaRoche (23, Thompson)
RBI - Nate McLouth (62), Adam LaRoche 3 (70), Yunel Escobar 2 (68), Matt Diaz 2 (48), David Ross (18)
2-OUT RBI - Nate McLouth (19), Adam LaRoche 2 (24), Yunel Escobar 2 (33), Matt Diaz 2 (18)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Escobar-Johnson-LaRoche
E - Reid Gorecki (1, Misplayed grounder)
Atlanta Braves
Javier Vazquez (W,13-9) 9722080 3.01
Pitches-Strikes - Javier Vazquez 94-70
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Javier Vazquez 8-10
Batters Faced - Javier Vazquez 33
St. Louis Cardinals
Skip Schumaker, 2B4130000 .294
Brendan Ryan, SS3000012 .287
   a- Joe Thurston, PH1110000 .229
Albert Pujols, 1B4010021 .327
Matt Holliday, LF4012001 .314
Ryan Ludwick, RF4000001 .272
Colby Rasmus, CF4000031 .256
Mark DeRosa, 3B3000000 .257
Yadier Molina, C2000010 .283
    Jason LaRue, C1010000 .241
Chris Carpenter, P1000000 .148
   b- Khalil Greene, PH1000010 .204
    Brad Thompson, P1000001 .083
Totals3327208  
a-singled for Ryan in the 9th
b-struck out for Carpenter in the 6th
Batting
RBI - Matt Holliday 2 (99)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Ryan-Schumaker-Pujols
E - Yadier Molina (5, Missed catch of throw)
St. Louis Cardinals
Chris Carpenter (L,16-4) 6977230 2.45
Brad Thompson 3322021 5.02
HBP - Diaz (by Chris Carpenter), Diaz (by Brad Thompson)
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Carpenter 95-60, Brad Thompson 41-32
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Carpenter 8-6, Brad Thompson 5-2
Batters Faced - Chris Carpenter 29, Brad Thompson 13
Game Information
Attendance - 41179
Game Time - 2:08
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - Ted Barrett, First Base - Tim McClelland, Second Base - Andy Fletcher, Third Base - Greg Gibson