St. Louis Cardinals Beat Brewers, Stay Four Back

The St. Louis Cardinals salvage their series with the Brewers on a strong performance by Chris Carpenter.

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Chris Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals Salvage Series Vs. Brewers

The St. Louis Cardinals rallied early and Chris Carpenter held on after a rough eighth inning to stay in the race against the surging Brewers, beating Milwaukee by a score of 5-2. Albert Pujols had four hits, including a home run, to propel the Cardinals, who also got a leadoff homer from midseason acquisition Rafael Furcal. Carpenter's win was his eighth, while Fernando Salas picked up his 22nd save of the season with a perfect ninth inning. 

After a four-game sweep of the Marlins the Cardinals welcomed the Brewers into Busch Stadium only to lose two ugly games and fall five games back of the division leaders. Thursday, at least, was a vintage reminder of what the Cardinals can do when their ace and their superstar get things going on the same night. 

The Cardinals will host the Colorado Rockies on Friday night, when Kyle Lohse returns the mound against Aaron Cook. Jaime Garcia and Edwin Jackson will pitch over the weekend as the Cardinals try to avoid losing any more ground against a Brewers team that won't stop winning. 

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Yadier Molina's Suspension Costs Cardinals Vs. Brewers

Yadier Molina's five-game suspension, whether he deserved it or not for his overreaction to some bad umpiring in last Tuesday's wild loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, finally came home to roost a week later, when Molina's understudy, light-hitting backup Gerald Laird, went 2-4 and drove in a run. That's not the usual way this sort of thing comes home to roost, but Laird's defense showed the Cardinals just how much they missed Molina's; a passed ball allowed the Brewers' third run to cross the plate in the sixth inning while a fifth-inning error nearly cost the Cardinals the game early when he loaded the bases with nobody out. 

I can only hope Yadier Molina and anybody else in favor of this kind of ostensibly motivational ejection watched Laird's fumbling with as much interest as I did. If you're the starting catcher on a team that's four games back of the division leaders, you cannot afford to be suspended for five games, no matter how bad the umpiring is; if you're more valuable to your team as a motivational tool than a catcher, you shouldn't be starting in the first place. 

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