ST. LOUIS(AP) Not much went smoothly for
, who labored through six innings, got hit by a pitch on the left thumb and flubbed a bunt attempt.
Flawed but gritty was good enough to win his 10th straight decision, especially with a five-run cushion after the second.
was 4 for 4 with two RBIs, pacing a 16-hit attack as the St. Louis Cardinals clobbered the
10-3 on Wednesday night.
''It was definitely a strange night, and it wasn't very clean on my part,'' Carpenter said. ''It was good enough to win, and
I'll take it.''
had a pair of RBI doubles and finished with three hits for the NL Central leaders, whose 10 1/2-game lead is the best in baseball.
, activated from the 60-day disabled list from a shoulder injury Monday, struck out as a pinch hitter to end the sixth in
his first at-bat of the season.
The Brewers had runners in scoring position every inning except the sixth, when Carpenter (15-3) retired the side in order
in his final inning.
''I don't think he was at his sharpest,'' Brewers manager
said. ''But the sign of a good pitcher is when he's not sharp and he's able to give the innings and hold the other team down.''
The St. Louis offense made those struggles a moot point, punishing
(3-6) and the Milwaukee bullpen. The Cardinals have scored 17 runs in two games and go for a sweep behind
The Cardinals are 31-4 since July 1 in starts by their big three of Carpenter,
(14-9), and are season-best 24 games above .500. Although shy of his best stuff for the second straight start despite an extra
day of rest, Carpenter is 10-0 with a 2.17 ERA in his last 12 outings and leads the majors with a 2.28 ERA.
''My command wasn't fabulous,'' Carpenter said. ''But I don't believe you're going to be perfect every night.''
had two hits and RBIs and has six RBIs in the first two games of the series for Milwaukee.
singled three times.
The Cardinals, swept in a three-game series at home by Milwaukee in mid-May when the Brewers were 10 games above .500 and
in first place in the Central, have taken six of the last seven in the season series. They were contending for the league's
best record, not that manager
Tony La Russa
''It's a sign of a potential distraction for this team,'' La Russa said. ''We need to crank out series and try to get to the
finish line, and whatever the number turns out to be it turns out to be.''
Bush lasted only 3 1-3 innings and allowed eight runs in his second start coming off a triceps injury from getting struck
by a line drive, an injury that sidelined him for two months. Both of his post-injury starts have been messy and the right-hander
is 0-6 with a 10.50 ERA in eight starts since his last victory on May 19 at Houston.
Bush hit two batters, including Carpenter while attempting to sacrifice in the second, and leads the majors with 12 hit batsmen
in only 89 innings.
''I'm having a hard time kind of putting it all together,'' Bush said. ''Hitting the pitcher kind of put me behind the eight
The Cardinals left the bases loaded in the first when Bush got
on a flyout, then got untracked with six runs on six hits in the second. Pujols had a two-run opposite-field double on a pop
fly down the right field line that eluded Catalanotto and Schumaker had a two-run opposite-field single.
Carpenter is 9-0 with a 1.99 ERA against the Central this season and 35-12 for his career. However, it was his first victory
over the Brewers since April 27, 2005, evening his career record against Milwaukee to 3-3.
NOTES: Second-base umpire Mike Everitt stayed in the game after getting struck on the leg by Catalanotto's liner in the fourth,
a ball that was going through anyway. ... Molina's ground-rule double in the fourth fooled the fireworks operator, who believed
it was a home run and fired off a few quick salvos. ... St. Louis reliever
struck out five in the seventh and eighth, allowing a hit and a walk.