Cards’ support finally for ace
Posted: Friday, June 24, 2011 9:06 pm
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Chris Carpenter finally got another win. He had more than enough help.
The Cardinals starter who hadn’t won since May 10 threw seven strong innings and Jon Jay and Lance Berkman homered to lead St. Louis to a 12-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday.
Carpenter (2-7) allowed one run and five hits to end a string of seven successive starts without a win. Carpenter struck out seven and walked one.
“I still feel like I’m a quality guy that runs out there every fifth day,” said Carpenter. “I believe in myself and I believe in my stuff, and my ability to get outs.”
St. Louis won for the first time since three-time NL MVP Albert Pujols fractured his left forearm on Sunday. The Cardinals managed just two runs and 11 hits during the first two games without Pujols, who is out 4 to 6 weeks.
Philadelphia starter Roy Oswalt (4-6) left after two innings due to tightness in his lower back. He gave up four runs and five hits in his shortest start since a two-inning outing in a 9-7 loss to Atlanta on September 10, 2009.
“I was more heaving the ball than throwing the ball,” Oswalt said. “I’ll have an MRI on Monday, I think.”
The Phillies, who were looking to sweep the three-game series, closed out a six-game road trip at 3-3.
Carpenter entered the game with the 11th-lowest run support among NL starters at 3.38 runs per game. His teammates scored three times in the second and once in the third to give him an early 5-0 cushion.
Carpenter has gone at least six innings in 14 of 16 starts this season. He allowed three runs or less in four of his last six starts but was unable to pick up a victory due to the lack of offensive support.
“I just feel like every time he’s taken the mound, he’s had hard luck,” said Berkman. “The guy just can’t catch a break.”
Carpenter retired 10 of the first 11 hitters. He gave up three successive singles in the sixth, including a run-scoring hit by Ryan Howard, with two outs.
Mostly, he just baffled the Cardinals, though.
“He was nasty the whole game,” Cardinals rookie catcher Tony Cruz said. “Whatever I called, he was there. He was just on.”
Jay hit his fifth homer of the season, a 422-foot shot to right off Oswalt to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. Berkman capped off a six-run outburst in the eighth with a three-run shot, his 18th of the season.
Colby Rasmus, Skip Schumaker and rookie catcher Tony Cruz opened the second with successive singles to push the lead to 2-0. Carpenter added a sacrifice bunt before Ryan Theriot ripped a two-run single to make it 4-0.
Cruz added a run-scoring single in the sixth. He finished 2-for-3 with the first two RBI of his career.
Matt Holliday drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single in the eighth off reliever Danys Baez, who gave up six runs in the inning.
Carlos Ruiz hit a two-out homer in the ninth for Philadelphia.
NOTES: The Phillies fell to 19-17 on the road and remain one of five teams with winning records away from home. ... Holliday broke out of an 0-for-10 skid with a third-inning double. ... Carpenter is 6-2 in his career against Philadelphia. ... Berkman has 54 RBI. He had 58 all of last season.