The Cardinals Major League Notebook 05/26

For the second time in 10 days, a Cardinals starting pitcher held the Milwaukee Brewers to two hits over eight innings, and for the second time, the Cardinals were beaten, 1-0, by their new nemeses.

In St. Louis on May 16, Adam Wainwright allowed two hits and a run in eight innings and lost. On Monday in Miller Park, Chris Carpenter was perfect for six innings and gave up two hits and no runs over eight masterful innings. But a couple of Cardinals miscues in the 10th inning undermined this effort, too, in a 1-0 setback. Milwaukee has beaten the Cardinals four times in four meetings this season, outscoring the Cardinals 18-6. But, then, the Cardinals haven't been scoring against anybody lately.

Though they had a five-game winning streak at home, that was based almost solely on a starting staff that gave up one run in 36 2/3 innings. That figure now is four runs in 51 2/3 innings, but the Cardinals have scored only 20 runs in their last seven games. Before they had two hits, just one out of the infield, on Monday, manager Tony La Russa said, "We need to pick it up. We need to swing the bats better."

If there was a silver lining Monday, it was Carpenter, making his second start after missing more than five weeks with a left oblique tear. He was virtually unhittable, fanning 10 and walking none, and he hasn't allowed an earned run in 23 innings this season.

"It definitely was one of my better (games)," said Carpenter. "From the first pitch on, I executed pretty well."

But, he added, "I'm past personal stuff. It's about winning ballgames. It's not about losing ballgames at this level."

La Russa, while disappointed in the outcome, was almost astounded by what Carpenter is doing.

"I believe it because we're seeing it," he said. "It's remarkable how well he's pitched. You just can't do what he's doing -- being that sharp. But he's doing it."

BREWERS 1, CARDINALS 0 (10 innings): The Cardinals had only an infield single by SS Brendan Ryan in the sixth and a single to left by 2B Skip Schumaker in the eighth as they failed to support RHP Chris Carpenter. Only two Cardinals reached scoring position and none got to third base.

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