It wasn't pretty by most standards. Right-hander Chris Carpenter allowed 16 baserunners in seven innings Tuesday night. There was one hit batsman, two walks and there were 13 Cubs hits -- all singles.
But Carpenter, who had to endure a 35-pitch first inning when the Cubs scored twice, allowed only four runs out of all that, and rookie third baseman Daniel Descalso's two-run single in the top of the eighth inning gave Carpenter his first victory, 6-4. Carpenter had gone a career-high seven games without a win at the start of the season.
Bench coach Joe Pettini, replacing manager Tony La Russa, who was going through tests in Scottsdale, Ariz., for what has been diagnosed as shingles, made one key move. Pettini inserted Jon Jay into right field in the bottom of the eighth after Jay had pinch-hit in the top half. Jay immediately delivered by making a lunging, diving catch to rob pinch hitter Blake DeWitt for the first out.
With the score tied at 4-4, Pujols and Holliday both advanced as Cubs right fielder Kosuke Fukudome made a poor throw to the infield after catching Lance Berkman's flyball. That forced an intentional walk to Yadier Molina.
Nick Punto lined out, with nobody scoring. But Descalso took advantage of perhaps one too many cut fastballs thrown by Cubs right-hander Kerry Wood, lacing a high cutter for a two-run single.
Descalso has five hits in 18 at-bats with men in scoring position, but those hits have been clutch. He has 12 RBI.
"I want to be up there in a big spot with guys on base and the game on the line," Descalso said.
Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.