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Zambrano outshines Carpenter as Cubs club Cardinals

CHICAGO (AP) -- Dusty Baker complimented Chris Carpenter last
week, then cursed at him Sunday.

The Cubs manager and Cardinals ace got into a shouting match
during Chicago's 7-4 victory, adding more friction to one of
baseball's most bitter rivalries.

In the second inning, Carpenter walked from home plate toward
the dugout to confront Baker, and an argument followed. Baker
thought it stemmed from a series in St. Louis this month, when a
Cardinals hitter told one of the Cubs that a Chicago pitcher stared
him down whenever he got a hit -- and he didn't like it.

"Then Carpenter was doing the same thing to Nomar (Garciaparra)
after he got that hit and after he punched out (Matt) Murton. So I
asked him, 'What are you looking at? Why are you staring at the
guy?" Baker said. "Then when he went to back up home plate and
he came over to our dugout and said, 'If you got something to say
to me, then, you know, come to the mound.' That's when I got a
little (teed) off and that's when I cursed.

"Maybe I shouldn't have cursed. I had just given him the
highest compliment last week when I said he's one of the pitchers I
respect most in the league, because he doesn't clown, he doesn't
showboat. He just pitches."

Carpenter declined to comment, as did St. Louis manager Tony La
Russa, who has had confrontations with Baker in the past.

After the argument, there was no further trouble between the
teams.

Carlos Zambrano won his career-best sixth consecutive decision,
allowing 10 hits in a complete game. Murton and Todd Walker homered
for the Cubs.

Murton hit his fifth homer in the sixth to break a 4-all tie,
leading off the inning against Anthony Reyes (1-1) with a shot to
center. Walker led off the seventh against Cal Eldred with his 12th
homer.

The Cubs scored four times in the second off Carpenter, a
leading contender for the NL Cy Young Award who is tied for the
major league lead with 21 wins. The Cardinals already clinched the
NL Central title, so the right-hander departed early after a
four-inning tuneup.

"I think that I wasn't going to throw many pitches today,"
Carpenter said.

Zambrano (14-5) gave up two earned runs and threw 126 pitches in
his sixth career complete game. He walked one and struck out one.

He was two outs from finishing it when Baker came to the mound
with two runners on.

"He told me basically this is your ballgame and the ball is in
your hand," Zambrano said.

Baker wasn't looking to pull his pitcher.

"He didn't talk me out of it," the manager said. "I really
didn't have my mind made up when I went out there. I kind of wanted
to see his expression, his face. He said he felt good, that he
wanted to finish it and that is what you like to hear."

The right-hander is 6-0 with a 2.85 ERA in eight starts since
losing 6-1 to the New York Mets on Aug. 7. He left that game after
three innings because of tightness in his lower back.

Zambrano's other complete game this year was a 2-1 victory over
Philadelphia on May 8. He has dominated the Cardinals all season,
going 3-0 with a 1.10 ERA.

"I really wasn't looking to strike people out," Zambrano said.
"I was looking to get groundballs."

Zambrano also went 2-for-4 at the plate with his sixth double of
the season, raising his batting average to .303.

Down 4-1, the Cardinals scored three runs in the fifth. Yadier
Molina had an RBI single and Skip Schumaker reached on
Garciaparra's error at third base. Molina scored on David
Eckstein's grounder, and So Taguchi added an RBI double.

The Cubs scored four runs in the second to take the lead.
Carpenter gave up only three runs to Chicago in three previous
starts this season.

Carpenter gave up a single to Garciaparra and hit Jeromy Burnitz
with a pitch. Carpenter struck out Murton, but after Corey
Patterson's RBI double scored Garciaparra, things got testy between
Baker and Carpenter. Umpires and teammates led Carpenter away. He
wasn't the same afterward, immediately giving up a two-run single
to Henry Blanco and a single to Zambrano. Neifi Perez added a
sacrifice fly.

"I didn't make very many good pitches in the second inning,"
Carpenter said.

He gave up four runs and four hits, throwing only 60 pitches.

John Rodriguez hit his fifth homer leading off the second for
St. Louis.

Burnitz had a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

Game notes
The Cardinals made two lineup changes just before the game,
starting Taguchi over Jim Edmonds in center field and John Mabry
over Larry Walker in right. Rodriguez started in left. ... The Cubs
won the season series 10-6, going 5-3 at each park and winning each
series for the first time since 1995.