ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Chris Carpenter was dominant again, showing no
mercy to a former teammate.
"I was trying to get the Giants' hitters out and competing as
hard as I can," Carpenter said. "I knew he was going to bring his
best and do the best he could to get our guys out."
About the only concession Carpenter made was stepping off the
rubber during an ovation from a sellout crowd before Morris' first
at-bat in the second inning.
"I just wanted to get on with the game," Morris said. "It's
hard to enjoy those moments when you're playing."
Juan Encarnacion's three-run homer capped a four-run first for
the Cardinals, who cut their magic number for clinching the NL
Central to nine. Albert Pujols was 4-for-4 with an RBI and Aaron Miles tripled twice.
San Francisco has lost three of four and is 3˝ games behind wild
card-leading San Diego, which beat the Dodgers 11-2 Saturday night. St. Louis has
beaten the Giants four straight times by a combined score of 38-14
and manager Felipe Alou agreed with an assessment that the
situation is dire.
"Some of [our starters] are tired, some of them are young, and
we don't score that many runs," Alou said. "We fall behind three,
four, five runs in the first inning, we don't score that many to
Encarnacion lost a ball in the sun in the eighth to help the
Giants score their only run. Pinch-hitter Todd Linden was credited
with a leadoff triple on what appeared to be a routine fly ball and
Steve Finley followed with an RBI single. That chased Carpenter and
ended his run of 16 consecutive scoreless innings.
"It's good that I lost the ball in a game like that, when we
win by five runs," Encarnacion said.
Carpenter didn't mind, given Encarnacion's offensive
contribution. He also pointed out Encarnacion's tumbling catch to
rob Omar Vizquel in the third.
"If it wasn't for his big three-run home run in the first, we
might still be playing," Carpenter said. "He's done a great job
and he's made some phenomenal catches, and he made one today."
Carpenter (15-6) gave up five hits and struck out nine. He's 5-0
in his last eight starts, all of the victories coming at home,
where he has a major league-best 1.46 ERA.
Carpenter improved to 100-66 lifetime. He's the third St. Louis
pitcher to reach 100 victories this season, following Mark Mulder
and Jeff Suppan, and all of them received a beer shower from their
The Giants stranded two runners in each of the first two innings
against Carpenter, who retired 10 in a row before Morris doubled
with one out in the fifth. Carpenter then set down the next eight
in a row, including three straight strikeouts against the top of
Morris, a former 20-game winner with the Cardinals, had played
his entire career in St. Louis before signing a free-agent deal
with the Giants in the offseason. He got a big ovation from a
sellout crowd before his first at-bat and doffed his helmet, but
could not recover from a rocky first in which he surrendered a
leadoff triple to Miles, Pujols' one-out RBI single and
Encarnacion's 19th homer.
In two starts against his old team, Morris (10-14) is 0-2 and
has allowed nine earned runs in 12 innings. This was his first
start at new Busch Stadium.
"At this point in the season, I felt at home in a Giants
uniform and it felt like another game," Morris said. "The new
ballpark helped that out. There's not that much history behind me
Scott Rolen, who had a career-best seven RBI in a two-homer
game on Friday night, added RBI doubles for St. Louis in the fifth
Morris has given up 30 runs in the first inning of his 31
starts, by far his worst inning. "I don't remember him being like
that when he pitched for [the Cardinals]," Alou said. ...
Encarnacion's 19th homer matched his season best in 2003 and 1999.
... The switch-hitting Miles has five triples, all of them batting
left-handed. ... Carpenter topped 200 innings for the second
straight season and third time in his career. ... Carpenter is 7-3
on the road with a 4.52 ERA. ... The Cardinals are 15-4 in their
last 19 home games.