Right-hander Chris Carpenter had been receiving only 3.1 runs of support from the Cardinals in his first 11 starts before they rewarded him with 10 on Sunday, one driven in by Carpenter himself, who had his first RBI in nearly three years.
Carpenter (6-3) walked only one and gave up five hits in seven innings. He has walked one man or none in nine of his 12 starts. He also has more hits (three) than strikeouts (two), even though some people didn't want him to ever swing the bat again after he had suffered a torn oblique muscle swinging in his second start of the season.
"I said when I came back I wasn't going up there to be an out -- even though I am most of the time," said Carpenter. "I'm going to try to do something to help my team."
The Cardinals led 2-0 after one inning, 4-0 after four and 8-0 after five.
"It was nice to get runs early," said Carpenter, "but it doesn't change your approach as to how you're going to pitch.
"It was a nicely played game. Defensively. Offensively. When you do those things you've got a chance to win."
The Cardinals regained first place
by one game over
CARDINALS 10, CINCINNATI 1: 2B Skip Schumaker had his 10th three-hit game of the season and CF Colby Rasmus homered for the second time in two days as the Cardinals took the final game of a three-game series and started their first-half-ending, 10-game trip at 2-1.
--CF Colby Rasmus walked for the first time since May 25, a span of 114 at-bats. A .331 hitter at night, the rookie also has started hitting in the daytime, homering in two straight games after batting .089 in day games since May 16.
"I haven't been doing anything in the daytime," Rasmus said. "I've always been able to see (the ball) OK, but day games have given me some trouble because of how I feel with my stomach."
But an examination last Monday found that Rasmus had a hiatal hernia, gastritis and poor eating habits. Now, he doesn't eat late at night and it makes a difference the next morning.
"I've started feeling a lot better now," he said.
--OF Chris Duncan, as a pinch hitter, ended a hitless string at 15 with a ninth-inning single and OF Rick Ankiel stopped his slide at nothing for 14 with a seventh-inning hit. 3B Joe Thurston, who had two different skids of nothing for 12 in the last couple of weeks, knocked in two runs with a sacrifice fly and a single.
BY THE NUMBERS: 9 -- Number of seasons in which 1B Albert Pujols has hit 30 or more home runs. He has played only nine seasons in the majors.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "You can fool
yourself as much as you want, with as much positive talk as you want. But until
you feel good doing something, then you aren't going to believe." --
Inconsistent RHP Todd Wellemeyer, after pitching one of his best games of the
season to beat
--RHP Kyle Lohse, recovering from
a strained forearm flexor, will make his second, and presumably final,
rehabilitation start at Class AAA Memphis on Tuesday. He then is penciled in to
start one game of a day-night doubleheader in
--Injured INF-OF Mark DeRosa will
"I feel good," said DeRosa, whose
workouts increased every day while he was in
Head athletic trainer Barry Weinberg said, "He's made some good progress, but I just want to clear everything up before we put a final OK on it. Weinberg said that if DeRosa continued to feel good, "he's got a chance (to play Tuesday). "We'll see how he recovers from what he did today," said Weinberg." Manager Tony La Russa still is holding his breath to some degree. "Better ask Mother Nature, not Barry," said La Russa. "Whenever Mother Nature nods. I have great respect for her."
--RF Ryan Ludwick showed up with an unsightly splotch near his right eye and assorted other blotches Sunday.
"I wish I had a good story for it," he said. "But it's terrible. I just woke up in the middle of the night to (go to the bathroom). The room was dark and I tripped over my suitcase and I got rug burn here, rug burn here and rug burn here," he said, pointing to his face, arm and body.
INF/OF Mark DeRosa (strained left wrist tendon) left the June 30 game, and he did not play July 1-4. He is day-to-day.
SS Khalil Greene (social anxiety disorder) went on the 15-day disabled list June 29.
RHP Kyle Lohse (strained right forearm) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 4. He began a rehab assignment with Class AA Springfield on July 2.
3B Troy Glaus (right shoulder
surgery in January 2009) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March
27. He was batting in Jupiter,
LHP Jaime Garcia (Tommy John elbow surgery in September 2008) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 27. He likely will miss all or nearly all of the 2009 season.
Editor's note: Read more about Rasmus' rookie home run feats at "The Cardinal Nation".