Chris Carpenter’s streak continued on Thursday as he and three relievers combined for a four-hit shutout of the Mets at Busch Stadium. Carpenter (21-4) won his 13th straight decision by lasting seven innings. He gave up three hits, one walk and struck out seven batters to become the first pitcher to win 21 games this season.
The two teams battled in a scoreless tie until Albert Pujols drilled a home run to center field off Mets’ starter Chris Benson in the sixth inning. Later in the sixth, So Taguchi drove in Jim Edmonds with a single.
Pujols gave St. Louis a 3-0 advantage with his 39th home run of the year in the seventh inning. John Gall hit his first home run, a two-run shot, later in the seventh to make it 5-0.
Carpenter exited after the seventh inning and was replaced by Al Reyes, who pitched a perfect eighth inning. Julian Tavarez and Ray King worked the ninth inning to finish things off.
Carpenter lowered his ERA to 2.21, which is second only to Roger Clemens, who has an ERA of 1.57. In the last 16 games, Carpenter’s ERA is 1.36.