Matt Carpenter knew he had done something special. The St. Louis Cardinals are confident there is more to come, too.
Carpenter broke Stan Musial’s team record for doubles by a left-handed batter in a season as the Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers, 7-2, Saturday night to maintain a two-game lead in the NL Central.
Carpenter’s fifth-inning double was his 54th one more than Musial’s total in 1953. Carpenter went into the game aware he was tied with Stan the Man.
”To know that you have done something, took a record from (Musial) or broke a record that he held, you can’t put it into words,” Carpenter said. ”It is pretty amazing. It is something I am extremely proud of and definitely a cool thing.”
Carpenter grounded out to start of the game and flied out in the second. But with two outs in the fifth, he hit a shot into the right-field corner to set the mark.
”Someone had mentioned to me that I tied him last night, so when I hit it today, I knew,” Carpenter said. ”I got the ball and I got the base, so pretty cool.”
Despite his personal success, Carpenter and the Cardinals know they have more to do.
”The only thing on my mind is the division championship,” he said. ”If I can do my job to help us win, then all those individual things will take care of themselves.
The Cardinals lead Pittsburgh by two games and are ahead of Cincinnati by three games.
St. Louis won for the 12th time in 17 games and improved to 14-4 against the Brewers this year, including 8-1 in Milwaukee.
”We don’t shy away from the fact that anything you get to play after game 162 is special,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.
Lance Lynn (14-10) allowed one run, four hits and four walks in 6 1/3 innings. He had been 0-5 with a 5.44 ERA in eight starts since winning at Cincinnati on Aug. 4.
”It is the same motto we’ve had all year, one game at a time,” Lynn said. ”That is all you can worry about.”
Lynn has made a career-high 32 starts this year, including four against the Brewers.
He had a rough first inning, but after that nothing bothered him.
”He was struggling a little bit,” Matheny said. ”Once he found that groove, and you could tell found that four-seamer, it was a completely different game.”
Yovani Gallardo (11-10) gave up two runs and four hits in seven innings and dropped to 1-11 with a 6.46 ERA in 17 career starts against St. Louis.
Matt Adams hit a two-run homer for the second straight night, putting the Cardinals ahead in the first. Davis hit an RBI grounder in the bottom half, but the Cardinals blew open the game in a five-run eighth.
”He hits mistakes,” Gallardo said. ”He’s one of those guys that got a lot of power. It doesn’t take much for him to hit the ball hard somewhere.”
NOTES: Brewers players drove through the parking lots and tossed bobbleheads and T-shirts to surprised tailgaters after batting practice, part of an effort to thank fans at the end of a disappointing season. … Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said that INF-OF Allen Craig’s left foot will be re-evaluated at the end of next week. He’s missed 16 games since spraining his left foot Sept. 4 at Cincinnati.