Cardinals 1, Reds 0
Chris Carpenter hit another high note in his midseason surge.
The St. Louis Cardinals’ pitcher insisted getting the better of
Johnny Cueto provided no extra incentive.
”I’ve said it all along,” Carpenter said after working eight
scoreless innings in a 1-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on
Monday night. ”I mean, it’s history and we’re professionals. You
Carpenter watched from the dugout as pinch-hitter Mark Hamilton
drove in the lone run with an infield hit with two outs in the
eighth, the rookie’s first RBI in 26 pinch at-bats.
”Honestly, my first thought when I got to the bag was we need
to get this game shut down because he deserves this win,” Hamilton
said. ”It’s big for us because we had heard the Brewers lost and
that we can take sole possession of first place.”
Cueto (5-3) allowed six hits in eight innings in his first
appearance against the Cardinals since he spiked Carpenter on the
back and dealt Jason LaRue a career-ending concussion with kicks
during a brawl in Cincinnati Aug. 11. Cueto and Brandon Phillips,
whose bat tap to catcher Yadier Molina’s shin guard had
precipitated the bench-clearing incident, were both booed at every
”How long can you hold stuff, you know what I mean?” Reds
manager Dusty Baker said before the game. ”There’ll be some booing
when they come to our place, too.
”You can’t control that, all you can control is how you play
the game,” he said.
Jon Jay robbed Jay Bruce with a leaping catch at the right field
wall to end the fourth and retreated while battling the sun for
another fine grab on Edgar Renteria’s drive near the warning track
with two men on in the seventh.
”That’s why I practice hard in BP,” Jay said. ”So when these
game situations come up it’s more instinct.”
Carpenter (4-7) has won three straight starts, digging himself
out of the worst hole of his career, and is 13-4 for his overall
agains Cincinnati. The right-hander has permitted just two runs on
18 hits in 24 innings to lower his ERA to 3.74, and settling after
giving up two hits in a 26-pitch first.
”I felt good. Felt strong at the end just like I have,”
Carpenter said. ”Back and forth, back and forth. We were both
pitching well and we were fortunate to get a break.”
Cueto is 3-2 in his last seven starts despite compiling a 1.42
ERA in that span capped by his third career complete game. He
hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his 11 starts this
”That was as good as you’re going to see. Both of them were
dealing,” Baker said. ”You hate to lose a game like that on a
little jam shot squibber. Johnny was great.”
Cueto had no strikeouts for only the third time in 103 career
starts, two of them in St. Louis, after fanning 25 hitters his
previous four outings in 28 1-3 innings. According to stats
compiled by MLB.com, Cardinals batters swung and missed only four
”It’s about getting late into the game, get seven, eight
innings,” Cueto said. ”If I look for strikeouts, then I throw
more pitches and I don’t stay in the game as long.”
Joey Votto had three singles for his ninth three-hit game and
Scott Rolen singled in the first for his 2,000th hit for
Cincinnati. The Reds, the highest-scoring team in the National
League, managed just three runners in scoring position.
Colby Rasmus opened the eighth with his second hit and advanced
when Molina converted a sacrifice after fouling off two attempts
and then fouling off a two-strike pitch. Rasmus went to third on a
flyout before Hamilton spun a grounder off the end of his bat that
curled just inside the third base line.
Rolen made a sliding stop at third but threw just late to first
as Hamilton took a curious wide turn and belatedly slid headfirst
into the bag. Hamilton is 6 for 26 as a pinch hitter and this was
his first RBI.
Fernando Salas struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 15th
save in 17 chances.
Bruce foiled the Cardinals’ first scoring opportunity, easily
throwing out Skip Schumaker at the plate after fielding Ryan
Theriot’s single to end the third. Schumaker appeared to get a bad
jump on the hit but was waved home by third base coach Jose
Oquendo, celebrating his 48th birthday.
NOTES: The Cardinals have won just two of their last seven at
home. … The Cardinals and Reds are meeting six times in the next
10 games. … Bruce is among the NL leaders with six assists. …
Rasmus’ single in the fifth was his fourth hit in 24 at-bats and
the first that was not a homer. … St. Louis won the series opener
for the first time since beating Philadelphia May 16. … All three
of Cueto’s career complete games have come on the road. … Jay has
hit in all eight of his home starts against the Reds, going 10 for
23. … Cueto had two starts without a strikeout last June,
including a five-inning stint June 1 in St. Louis in which he
allowed eight runs with no decision. He gave up one run in eight
innings and was the winner at home against the Phillies June