Carpenter again looks sharp in exhibition win

Tuesday, March 24, 2009
RICHARD DREW ~ Associated Press
The Cardinals' Chris Duncan hits a broken-bat single against the Washington Nationals during the fourth inning of their exhibition game Monday in Jupiter, Fla.

JUPITER, Fla. -- Chris Carpenter allowed his first two runs of spring, both unearned thanks to his error, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Washington Nationals 6-3 Monday

"I thought he was good again," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "He had everything. Everything is working."

Carpenter, who has missed most of the last two seasons with arm trouble, matched his spring training strikeout total of four when Washington's fifth hitter of the game, Corey Patterson, was caught looking in the second inning. He ended the afternoon with six strikeouts and threw 52 of 76 pitches for strikes.

"He was throwing good enough that they weren't putting the ball in play early in the count and he has a finishing pitch," pitching coach Dave Duncan said. "He doesn't try to get swings and misses, but if he gets an 0-2, 1-2 count, he's going to try to put the guy away, and he's got pitches to do it with."

Carpenter's fielding error in the third inning led to two runs. Lastings Milledge looped a two-out broken-bat single to start the rally. Carpenter then mishandled Cristian Guzman's chopper and Nick Johnson followed with an RBI double down the left-field line. Carpenter's streak of not allowing an earned run extended to 19 innings.

RICHARD DREW ~ Associated Press
Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter throws during Monday's spring training game against the Washington Nationals in Jupiter, Fla.

Scott Olsen had his longest, and possibly best, outing of the spring for Washington, allowing two runs and seven hits in five innings.

Josh Bard, the former Boston catcher who was let go earlier this spring before the Nationals signed him to a minor league contract, went 0-for-3 in his Washington debut.

St. Louis gave Carpenter a lead in the first inning. Brendan Ryan singled up the middle and advanced to third when Jose Castillo's attempt to throw out Rick Ankiel on a bunt single went awry. Ryan scored on Ryan Ludwick's sacrifice fly to left.

The Cardinals took the lead for good with four runs in the sixth inning. Skip Schumaker had a two-run single to left and scored a run.


* St. Louis sent minor league pitcher Luke Gregerson to San Diego to complete the deal in which they acquired Khalil Greene. Gregerson is a 24-year-old right-hander drafted in the 28th round by St. Louis in 2006. Last season he was 7-6 with 10 saves and a 3.35 earned run average in 57 appearances at Class AA Springfield, all in relief. The Cardinals also sent right-hander Mark Worrell to San Diego for Greene. The Padres announced Friday that Worrell will undergo surgery on his pitching elbow and is expected to miss the entire season.

* Pitcher Dennys Reyes joined the Cardinals on Monday from the World Baseball Classic and could make his first appearance with the club Wednesday.

* St. Louis has an off day today.

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