At some point Chris Carpenter has to go out and give up a bunch of runs, hits and walks. For now, though, he seems content with just dominating every time he’s on the mound. Carpenter (18-4) became the first 18-game winner in the Major Leagues on Wednesday, as the Cardinals topped the Pirates 8-3.
Carpenter lasted eight innings, giving up three runs off four hits and two walks to go with his four strikeouts. The offense gave him some early padding, thanks to four RBI singles which led to five runs in the first inning. Larry Walker struck first, knocking in David Eckstein. John Rodriguez, who finished 2-for-4 with three RBI’s, drove in Walker and Albert Pujols. Yadier Molina and Eckstein capped the rally with one-run singles.
Rodriguez struck again in the fifth inning with a solo home run—it was his fourth homer of the season. In the eighth, Eckstein tripled in Hector Luna and Albert Pujols hit his 34th home run of the year in the ninth.
Carpenter gave up single runs in three different innings. Rob Mackowiak drove in runs with a single in the first and a double in the fourth and Ty Wiggington grounded in Mackowiak in the seventh. Carpenter hasn’t recorded a loss in his last 13 starts and is 10-0 during that stretch.
With the win, Cardinals’ manager Tony LaRussa tied Sparky Anderson for third place all-time for managerial wins with 2,194. Only John McGraw (2,763) and Connie Mack (3,731)have more wins.
Before the game, Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan got into a scuffle with Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon and hitting coach Gerald Perry. Duncan and McClendon were arguing when it Perry, a former Cardinal, seemed to throw the first punch, according to FOX Sports Net Midwest video footage.