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Carpenter extinguishes hot Braves bats as Cards win

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- On a night that started out wild and stormy,
Chris Carpenter restored a sense of normalcy for the St. Louis
Cardinals.

Carpenter shut down a surging Atlanta Braves offense and Jim
Edmonds hit a three-run homer, leading the Cardinals to an 8-3
victory Wednesday.

"He was like he usually is -- outstanding," manager Tony La
Russa said. "No matter how hot you are, no matter how well you're
swinging, you just don't get that much to hit."

The Cardinals rebounded from a pair of defeats by 15-3 and 14-5
scores after a storm injured 30 people, blew out press box windows,
overturned portable concession stands and ripped the tarp at new
Busch Stadium, causing a delay of 2 hours, 12 minutes.

"We all took turns coming out," La Russa said. "That's an
experience. I can't remember it happening since I've been in St.
Louis."

Perhaps two-thirds of a sellout crowd of 43,991, who were
trapped during the brunt of the fierce storm, stuck around after
the delay to watch the Cardinals win for the eighth time in 10
games, wrap up a 5-2 homestand and end Atlanta's season-best
seven-game winning streak.

Carpenter (9-4), last year's NL Cy Young winner and the lone
Cardinals starter with an ERA below five, held Atlanta to two runs and
five hits in seven innings. The Braves had been the first team
since the 1930 Yankees to score 10 or more runs in five straight
games but they struggled against the strong right-hander.

"We had a chance to sweep, but we were going up against Mr. Cy
Young," manager Bobby Cox said. "He looked like Cy Young to me."

Carpenter, who threw a two-hit shutout against the Dodgers in
his last start, struck out six and didn't walk a batter. La Russa
limited him to seven innings and 77 pitches because he had to warm
up twice.

"I'm going until they take me out," Carpenter said. "I just
do the best I can."

Chipper Jones had two hits for the Braves and is 41-for-78
(.526) with eight homers and 24 RBI during a 19-game hitting
streak that matches his career best set in 2000. Brian McCann
homered for the fifth consecutive game in the seventh, the Braves'
24th long ball in the last seven games.

Atlanta scored 73 runs in the previous five games, the best by
the franchise since the 1897 Boston Beaneaters scored 78 runs in a
five-game span from May 31-June 3. The Braves batted .394 during
the run.

Edmonds homered for the third straight game, and for the first
time in a meaningful situation, when he connected for his 14th
homer off Jason Shiell (0-1) to put the Cardinals ahead 4-1 in the
third. Carpenter, an .081 hitter, drove in his second run of the
season with a base hit in a four-run fifth off Kevin Barry.

Shiell said the pitch to Edmonds wasn't a bad one.

"You watch a guy on TV and he is an idol to a lot of kids,
including myself," Shiell said. "I am in awe of watching him hit.

"I didn't want him to beat me, but he did."

Seven of Edmonds' homers have come this month.

"I'm getting one good (swing) a day," Edmonds said. "I'm just
trying to keep my head above water."

Scott Rolen had an RBI single, Juan Encarnacion a sacrifice fly
and Hector Luna was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to produce
the other three runs.

Atlanta settled for an RBI single by Andruw Jones in the first
and McCann's 11th homer in the seventh against Carpenter. Adam LaRoche drove in a run with a bases-loaded fielder's choice in the
ninth.

Shiell, 29, subbing for injured John Thomson in the rotation,
lasted four innings and gave up four runs and four hits in his
first career start and first major league appearance since July 30,
2003. Shiell, who missed the 2004 and '05 seasons following elbow
surgery, made his previous 20 appearances as a reliever.

Game notes
Shiell, who began the season in the independent Atlantic
League, was the 10th starter used by the Braves this season. ...
Carpenter improved to 3-0 in July. ... The Cardinals have homered
in 16 straight games, two off the franchise record set in 2000.
They've totaled 25 homers in that span. ... David Eckstein had a
career-high three strikeouts for the third time in his career, and
first since July 6, 2004, at Chicago White Sox when he was with the
Angels. ... The Cardinals have not committed an error in their last
10 games.