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Carpenter, Cardinals edge past Bucs

Carpenter, Cardinals edge past Bucs
ST. LOUIS ? Ramon Vazquez's single to center field with two outs in the seventh inning today broke up a no-hit bid against the Pirates by St . Louis Cardinals right-hander Chris Carpenter.

Despite their offensive impotence, the Pirates actually led by a run going into the bottom of the seventh. However, the Cardinals strung together four singles to nab a 2-1 victory and a split of the four-game series.

The Pirates took a 1-0 lead without getting a hit. They scored an unearned run in the third inning after Vazquez drew a leadoff walk.

With one out, Ross Ohlendorf bunted. First baseman Albert Pujols fielded the ball, but threw wildly to second base. Vazquez went to third and Ohlendorf was safe at first on a fielder's choice.

Nyjer Morgan hit a tapper toward first base, but Pujols' throw pulled catcher Yadier Molina off the plate. Vazquez slid in an instant ahead of Molina's tag. Morgan reached on the fielder's choice.

Ryan Doumit drew a leadoff walk in the seventh, but was erased at second base on Brandon Moss' fielder's choice grounder. Vazquez then rolled a single past diving second baseman Skip Schumaker.

The Cardinals finally broke through against Ohlendorf in the seventh. Ryan Ludwick singled to left. Khalil Greene bunted for a single.

Yadier Molina singled past second baseman Freddy Sanchez, who tried to make a diving stop. Ludwick scored and Greene went to third.

Sean Burnett relieved Ohlendorf (0-1). Brian Barden lined a pinch-hit, RBI single to center, giving St. Louis the lead.

Carpenter has won nine straight decisions against the Pirates, going back to 2004. Today was the first time he'd pitched against Pittsburgh since 2006.

Carpenter had reconstructive elbow surgery in 2007 and returned to action in July 2008. However, he was shut down after pitching just four games due to shoulder pain. In November, he had an operation to transpose the ulnar nerve in his right elbow.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: April 10, 2009

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