Friday, April 10, 2009
Sports NewsMayfield's Mutterings: It's all over in Detroit

Carpenter takes no-hit bid to 7th inning

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[April 10, 2009]  ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Chris Carpenter took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning and combined with two relievers on a one-hitter, leading the St. Louis Cardinals over the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1 Thursday.

Carpenter (1-0) didn't allow a hit until Ramon Vazquez singled just under the glove of second baseman Skip Schumaker with two outs in the seventh. Schumaker made a poor throw to second on a potential inning-ending double play the previous at-bat, nearly pulling shortstop Khalil Greene off the bag on Brandon Moss' grounder and getting only a forceout.

Schumaker was an outfielder before the Cardinals released Adam Kennedy on Feb. 9.


Pittsburgh had scored an unearned run in the third against Carpenter following an error by first baseman Albert Pujols. The 2005 NL Cy Young Award winner, Carpenter didn't pitch from April 1, 2007, until last July 30 because of an elbow injury that required reconstructive surgery and he made just four appearances totaling 15 1-3 innings last season.

Carpenter struck out seven and walked two, throwing 92 pitches as he improved to 10-1 with a 2.06 ERA in 12 starts against Pittsburgh.

Ryan Franklin and Dennys Reyes followed with an inning each of perfect relief, with Reyes getting his third career save, his first since Sept. 27, 1999. The gap of nine years, 192 days between saves was the longest since Boston's Curt Schilling got his first save in 13 years, 77 days on July 19, 2005, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Rookie Jason Motte, who won the closer's job in spring training, hasn't pitched since allowing four runs in the ninth inning of the Pirates' 6-4 win in the opener.

St. Louis beat Pittsburgh for only the second time in seven games and split an opening four-game series.

Yadier Molina and pinch-hitter Brian Barden had RBI singles in the seventh against Ross Ohlendorf (0-1), who allowed seven hits over six innings in his sixth major league start.

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Pittsburgh made out in order five of the first six innings, with Carpenter getting three groundouts in the first on only seven pitches. There were few difficult plays, with Moss' flyout to end the fourth the only ball to make it past the infield before the seventh.

Pujols made two questionable choices in the third. First, he bounced a throw to second on Ohlendorf's attempted sacrifice for an error that put runners at the corners with one out. Then, after making a nice stab on Nyjer Morgan's smash, he threw wide to the plate as Vazquez beat the tag on a play that was ruled a fielder's choice.

Notes: Freddy Sanchez was 0-for-4, ending a string of three multihit games to start the season for Pittsburgh, which had 17 hits in a 7-4 victory on Wednesday. ... Ryan Ludwick singled in the seventh and has hit in a career-best 14 straight games dating to last season. ... Pujols singled in the first and has reached base in 21 straight games against the Pirates dating to 2007. ... Morgan, the Pirates' left fielder, made an outstanding running catch on Ludwick's foul fly ball in the fourth, leaping off the padded wall at the finish. ... Jack Wilson is 1-for-26 against Carpenter with no RBIs.

[Associated Press; By R.B. FALLSTROM]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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