Chris Carpenter didn’t make the All-Star team, but few would argue that he’s anything but the Cardinals most valuable player behind Scott Rolen. Carpenter lasted into the eighth inning to help nail down a 4-1 win over the Reds Monday afternoon. He allowed one run off five hits, no walks and eight strikeouts to improve to 9-3 on the season. All four of the runs Carpenter had to work with came in the fifth inning, when Edgar Renteria drove in two with a double and Scott Rolen knocked in two more with a single. Rolen now has 80 RBI’s on the season, which leads the majors. Jason Isringhausen had to work around two walks to earn his 19th save of the year. The Cardinals are now 18-games above .500 and have won four in a row.