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St. Louis at Baltimore

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St. Louis (43-38) «022010000581
Baltimore (35-42)001000000170

Cardinals ace Carpenter hurls second complete game

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BALTIMORE -- The St. Louis Cardinals were operating with a depleted bullpen on Wednesday night, and manager Tony La Russa was counting on Chris Carpenter to go deep into the game against the Baltimore Orioles.

Carpenter did so with a marvelous 132-pitch effort that inflicted more pain on the Orioles than the pitcher's tireless right arm.

Carpenter scattered seven hits for his second complete game of the season and Colby Rasmus homered to help the Cardinals cruise to a 5-1 victory on Wednesday night.

Carpenter (3-7) won his second straight start following a five-game losing streak. The right-hander struck out five, walked one and surrendered just one extra-base hit -- an RBI double to Nick Markakis in the third inning.

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As Carpenter's pitch count mounted, pitching coach Dave Duncan began to wonder if Carpenter had enough strength to go the distance.

"Dunc asked me after the sixth, after the seventh, after the eighth," Carpenter said. "To be honest with you, I felt just as good at the end of the game as I did at the beginning."

The Cardinals cut struggling reliever Ryan Franklin before the game, and La Russa used three relievers in a win on Tuesday night. So the objective was to avoid going to the bullpen unless it was absolutely necessary.

"Today we were a little short. That was classic there; he knew what he had to do," La Russa said of Carpenter. "Carp was the best guy we had. He has no fear, has a lot of talent. Pitching like he was tonight is what you hope for."

Carpenter's other complete game came on May 25, an eight-inning effort in a 3-1 loss at San Diego. The last time he had a complete-game victory was Sept. 30, 2010, against Colorado.

The 35-year-old has 31 complete games over 14 seasons.

Carpenter last faced the Orioles nine years earlier, when he was with the Toronto Blue Jays. He now has eight career wins over Baltimore, more than any other AL opponent.

"He's a big horse. He was able to locate on both sides of the plate," Orioles catcher Matt Wieters said. "He used his cutter, used his sinker, got a good curveball. We got him up to 132 pitches but couldn't get him out of the game."

Rasmus hit a two-run shot in the second inning to give St. Louis a 2-0 lead. It was his second homer of the series, third in five games and No. 8 on the year. He went 17 games without a home run before his recent run.

That was enough offense for the Cardinals, who will attempt to complete a three-game sweep on Thursday night.

Markakis went 2 for 4 to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 18 games. Over that time he has raised his batting average from .236 to .282.

Orioles starter Chris Jakubauskas (2-1) gave up five runs and seven hits in five innings.

It was the first time Jakubauskas faced Lance Berkman since the slugger hit a line drive off the pitcher's head in April 2010, when Jakubauskas was with Pittsburgh. The rematch was far less eventful: Berkman walked in the second inning ahead of Rasmus' homer, hit a sacrifice fly in the third and received an intentional walk in the fifth.

St. Louis made it 4-0 in the third. Nick Punto doubled and scored on a double by Skip Schumaker, who came home on a fly ball by Berkman.

Baltimore got a run in the bottom half when J.J. Hardy hit a two-out single off Carpenter's leg before Markakis doubled.

David Freese hit an RBI single in the fifth, and the Orioles loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom half but failed to score. After giving up three straight singles, Carpenter got Markakis to hit into a fielder's choice at the plate before retiring Adam Jones and Vladimir Guerrero on fly balls.

"He rose to the occasion," La Russa said. "Pitching out of that one inning was the game."

Carpenter gave up only one hit the rest of the way.

"He's our ace," Schumaker said. "He is the kind of pitcher who can rattle off a 10-game string, or the kind of guy who can bring us out of a funk."

St. Louis has won two straight after dropping five of six.

Notes

  • The Cardinals gave struggling reliever Ryan Franklin his unconditional release. The former All-Star had an 8.46 ERA.
  • Orioles LF Luke Scott did not play because he bruised his right knee making a leaping catch against the wall Tuesday night. Someone taped an outline of Scott on the wall before batting practice.
  • LHP Jaime Garcia and RHP Jake Westbrook traded places in the Cardinals rotation. Garcia will pitch Thursday against the Orioles and Westbrook will go Friday at Tampa Bay. Manager Tony La Russa says he made the switch because "it sets us up better."
  • Markakis is batting .415 during his streak, which includes 10 multihit games.
 
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 goes the distance for the second time this season and and for the 31st time in his career. (Getty Images)
Chris Carpenter goes the distance for the second time this season and and for the 31st time in his career. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

C. Carpenter
IP 9.0
H 7
ER 1
BB 1
K 5
Baltimore

N. Markakis
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 
St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Skip Schumaker, 2B5221012 .257
Jon Jay, RF4010012 .303
Matt Holliday, LF3000001 .327
Lance Berkman, 1B1101200 .294
David Freese, 3B4011002 .358
    Daniel Descalso, 3B0000000 .244
Colby Rasmus, CF3112102 .262
Yadier Molina, C4000001 .284
Mark Hamilton, DH3010110 .184
Nick Punto, SS4120002 .288
Totals3158543  
Batting
2B - Skip Schumaker (8, Jakubauskas), Nick Punto (5, Jakubauskas)
HR - Colby Rasmus (8, Jakubauskas)
SF - Lance Berkman (4)
SH - Jon Jay (4)
RBI - Skip Schumaker (18), Lance Berkman (55), David Freese (15), Colby Rasmus 2 (32)
2-OUT RBI - David Freese (7)
CS - Colby Rasmus (2, Home by Jakubauskas/Wieters)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Matt Holliday (2, Dropped line drive)
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Chris Carpenter (W,3-7) 9711150 4.00
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Carpenter 128-88
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Carpenter 11-12
Batters Faced - Chris Carpenter 36
Baltimore Orioles
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
J.J. Hardy, SS4120000 .307
Nick Markakis, RF4021003 .282
Adam Jones, CF4000005 .290
Vladimir Guerrero, DH4010003 .281
Derrek Lee, 1B3000112 .239
Matt Wieters, C4000000 .257
Mark Reynolds, 3B4000022 .221
Felix Pie, LF4010010 .241
Blake Davis, 2B4010011 .313
Totals3517115  
Batting
2B - Nick Markakis (10, Carpenter)
RBI - Nick Markakis (31)
2-OUT RBI - Nick Markakis (14)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Hardy-Lee
Baltimore Orioles
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Chris Jakubauskas (L,2-1) 5755321 5.68
Brad Bergesen 3000000 5.58
Kevin Gregg 1100110 3.16
IBB - Berkman by Chris Jakubauskas
HBP - Holliday (by Chris Jakubauskas)
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Jakubauskas 88-56, Brad Bergesen 26-16, Kevin Gregg 24-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Jakubauskas 3-8, Brad Bergesen 5-4, Kevin Gregg 1-1
Batters Faced - Chris Jakubauskas 24, Brad Bergesen 9, Kevin Gregg 5
Game Information
Attendance - 17405
Game Time - 2:32
Temperature - 90
Umpires - Home - Manny Gonzalez, First Base - Brian Gorman, Second Base - Dan Bellino, Third Base - Larry Vanover