The Cardinals magic number to clinch the National League Central has been cut to just five games as the Redbirds held on to beat the Dodgers 7-6 at Chavez Ravine. Larry Walker led the charge for St. Louis with a 4-for-5 performance that yielded two home runs and four RBI’s. Walker’s second home run of the day came in the top of the fourth to cap a four run rally. That burst gave St. Louis a 6-2 lead, but it was to be short-lived. The Dodgers touched up Cardinal starter Chris Carpenter for four runs in the bottom of the fifth to tie it up. Steve Finley’s bases-loaded single accounted for three of those runs. Albert Pujols, gave the Cards the lead back in the sixth inning, though it came in a form that wasn’t characteristic of the way Pujols usually knocks in runs. With the bases loaded and no outs, Pujols grounded into a double play that scored Tony Womack. That made it 7-6 and the Cardinals’ bullpen took over from there. Rick Ankiel, Kiko Calero, Ray King and Jason Isringhausen gave up one hit, no walks and no runs to preserve Chris Carpenter’s 15th win of the season. Isringhausen is tied for with Florida’s Armando Benitez for the National League save lead with 41.
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