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Cincinnati at St. Louis

Scoreboard
Cincinnati (31-23)000000100140
St. Louis (31-23) «00010210x490

Cardinals move into first-place tie with Reds in NL Central

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- Eight straight times, Chris Carpenter has beaten the Cincinnati Reds. This time, they helped.

Carpenter allowed four hits in eight innings and benefited from the Reds' fielding and baserunning woes as the St. Louis Cardinals pulled into a first-place tie with Cincinnati in the NL Central with a 4-1 victory Wednesday night.

"They're a good team but I feel like we're better," Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips said. "This time we just beat ourselves instead of them beating us."

Matt Holliday homered and Skip Schumaker, Ryan Ludwick and Brendan Ryan all had two hits and an RBI to back Carpenter, who silenced the NL's top offense to help St. Louis take two of three. Holliday hit his sixth homer, and only second at home, leading off the seventh against Logan Ondrusek for a 4-1 lead.

"Big game," Carpenter said. "Big situation against a team that's playing real well."

Scott Rolen had an RBI single for the Reds, following a two-homer game. But he made a key mistake on the basepaths when he was struck by Jay Bruce's grounder, a ball that first baseman Albert Pujols had no chance at, with runners on first and third for the second out of the seventh.

"Obviously, it was a big one," Carpenter said. "It was fortunate for us, but some things happen in the game like that."

Reds manager Dusty Baker bemoaned Rolen's bad luck.

"He's such an excellent baserunner, and that's not going to happen very often," Baker said. "Follow the bouncing ball and tonight it bounced up and hit Scotty."

Carpenter (7-1) got another big out himself in the seventh, striking out Jonny Gomes for the second out. Gomes had entered the game with an NL-leading .459 average with runners in scoring position.

Gomes was shaky in the field, charging a ball in left field that sailed over his head for a gift RBI triple by Ryan in the fourth for the Cardinals' first run.

Carpenter has beaten Cincinnati three times this year and has a 1.09 ERA during the eight-game winning streak that dates to Aug. 15, 2006. He improved to 15-1 against the NL Central the last two years, retiring 13 straight in one stretch with four strikeouts and no walks.

"Whenever he's retired or pitches in the American League, then you can talk about his struggles or his success against a club," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "If you look at his record, he's been really special and tough against a lot of clubs."

Rookie Sam LeCure (1-1) allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings in his second career start, missing a chance to become the first Reds pitcher to win his first two outings since Larry Luebbers in 1993. LeCure, who's from Jefferson City, Mo., didn't think nerves were a factor.

"Once I got out on the mound I felt like everything was under control," LeCure said. "I made some pitches in some key situations and in other situations I didn't."

Kyle McClellan worked the ninth for his first save, and fifth of his career, a day after closer Ryan Franklin worked two innings in a one-run loss.

Holliday also walked twice for a two-day total of five, and is 13 for 25 (.520) with six RBI and eight walks during a seven-game hitting streak.

Notes

  • Reds RHP Homer Bailey (shoulder) is eligible to come off the DL on Tuesday and manager Dusty Baker says "Homer's optimistic all the time about getting back in it."
  • St. Louis Rams QB Sam Bradford, the No. 1 pick of the draft, is scheduled to throw out the first pitch Friday before the Cardinals play Milwaukee.
  • Cardinals IF Felipe Lopez felt fine a day after bruising his right thumb on a fielding error, but was not in the lineup.
  • Cardinals RHP Adam Ottavino was available for bullpen duty if needed but remained on track to start Saturday.
  • Cardinals RHP Brad Penny, on the DL with an upper back strain, has played light catch the last two days but there's no timetable for his return. He's eligible to be activated Sunday.
  • Stadium personnel surrounded and tackled a young male who ran onto the field at the end of the fifth.
  • Reds LHP Arthur Rhodes got three outs in the seventh and hasn't allowed a run in 20 2/3 innings, longest by a reliever in the majors this season.
 
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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Chris Carpenter beats the Reds for the eighth straight start, including three this season. (US Presswire)
Chris Carpenter beats the Reds for the eighth straight start, including three this season. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

C. Carpenter
IP 8.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 0
K 4
St. Louis

M. Holliday
AB 2
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Cincinnati Reds
Orlando Cabrera, SS4010000 .267
Brandon Phillips, 2B3110000 .280
Joey Votto, 1B3000001 .320
Scott Rolen, 3B4011010 .289
Jay Bruce, RF3010002 .266
Jonny Gomes, LF2000022 .303
Drew Stubbs, CF3000013 .233
Corky Miller, C2000000 .000
   a- Ramon Hernandez, PH-C1000010 .300
Sam LeCure, P2000000 .000
    Danny Herrera, P0000000 .000
    Logan Ondrusek, P0000000 .000
    Arthur Rhodes, P0000000 .000
   b- Laynce Nix, PH1000000 .224
    Enerio Del Rosario, P0000000 .000
Totals2814105  
a-struck out for Miller in the 8th
b-flied out for Rhodes in the 8th
Batting
2B - Orlando Cabrera (10, Carpenter)
SH - Brandon Phillips (5)
RBI - Scott Rolen (37)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Jay Bruce 1
DP - Cabrera-B. Phillips-Votto
Cincinnati Reds
Sam LeCure (L,1-1) 5.1633440 3.97
Danny Herrera 0.1000000 3.00
Logan Ondrusek 0.1211001 11.88
Arthur Rhodes 1000000 0.40
Enerio Del Rosario 1100100 3.00
HBP - Molina (by Sam LeCure), Pujols (by Sam LeCure)
WP - Sam LeCure (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Sam LeCure 106-56, Danny Herrera 3-1, Logan Ondrusek 9-4, Arthur Rhodes 11-6, Enerio Del Rosario 13-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Sam LeCure 5-6, Logan Ondrusek 1-0, Arthur Rhodes 1-2, Enerio Del Rosario 2-0
Batters Faced - Sam LeCure 27, Danny Herrera 1, Logan Ondrusek 3, Arthur Rhodes 3, Enerio Del Rosario 4
St. Louis Cardinals
Skip Schumaker, 2B3021100 .249
Ryan Ludwick, RF5021011 .292
Albert Pujols, 1B3010004 .318
Matt Holliday, LF2111202 .310
Colby Rasmus, CF4000014 .272
David Freese, 3B3100100 .315
Yadier Molina, C3210000 .259
Brendan Ryan, SS3021100 .211
Chris Carpenter, P3000024 .042
   a- Jon Jay, PH0000000 .302
    Kyle McClellan, P00000001.000
Totals2949454  
a-hit a sacrifice bunt for Carpenter in the 8th
Batting
2B - Brendan Ryan (7, Del Rosario)
3B - Brendan Ryan (2, LeCure)
HR - Matt Holliday (6, Ondrusek)
SF - Skip Schumaker (3)
SH - Jon Jay (2)
RBI - Skip Schumaker (13), Ryan Ludwick (27), Matt Holliday (24), Brendan Ryan (11)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Ludwick (10), Brendan Ryan (4)
SB - Albert Pujols 2 (5, 2nd base off LeCure/Miller, 3rd base off LeCure/Miller), Matt Holliday (4, 2nd base off LeCure/Miller)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Ryan-Freese
St. Louis Cardinals
Chris Carpenter (W,7-1) 8411040 2.76
Kyle McClellan (S,1) 1000010 1.93
HBP - Gomes (by Chris Carpenter), Votto (by Chris Carpenter)
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Carpenter 112-67, Kyle McClellan 7-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Carpenter 10-8
Batters Faced - Chris Carpenter 28, Kyle McClellan 3
Game Information
Attendance - 39295
Game Time - 2:39
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - Jerry Crawford, First Base - Brian O'Nora, Second Base - Scott Barry, Third Base - Chris Guccione