Carpenter sharp, Kershaw shaky in Cardinals’ 7-1 victory over Dodgers

By R.b. Fallstrom, AP
Thursday, July 15, 2010

Carpenter sharp, Cardinals beat Dodgers 7-1

ST. LOUIS — Chris Carpenter allowed four hits in eight innings to improve to 6-0 against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the St. Louis Cardinals chased an off-kilter Clayton Kershaw in the fifth inning of a 7-1 victory Thursday night.

Rookie Allen Craig had two RBIs without a hit off Kershaw (9-5), who dug his own hole with consecutive walks on 11 pitches to start the Cardinals’ two-run first, meriting a quick visit from pitching coach Rick Honeycutt. Kershaw also got tagged with a liner off his right leg for an infield hit by Aaron Miles in the second and allowed four earned runs in 4 1-3 innings with one strikeout.

Kershaw fanned 12 in his last pre-All-Star break outing a week ago in a victory over the Cubs, but faltered mostly due to a lack of control against a lineup that featured eight right-handed bats.

Andre Ethier homered and singled for the Dodgers, who committed errors on consecutive plays in St. Louis’ two-run fourth.

Carpenter (10-3) and the Giants’ Tim Lincecum were the only two National League pitchers not used in the All-Star game, by arrangement because both had starts scheduled for Thursday. The right-hander looked much sharper than in a pair of losses before the break in which he permitted 11 runs in nine innings. He retired the first seven batters to open the game, and eight in a row after Ethier’s 15th homer with one out in the fourth.

Carpenter struck out six with no walks. He’s 6-0 with a 1.77 ERA against the Dodgers, including seven scoreless innings June 8 at Los Angeles without a decision, and 19-4 against the NL West.

Two of Albert Pujols’ three hits came off Kershaw, who allowed one run in 15 innings in two previous starts in St. Louis. Counting a first-round playoff sweep last October, St. Louis had lost six in a row to the Dodgers.

Manny Ramirez was 0 for 3 with a fielding error in left after being activated from the 15-day disabled list earlier in the day. Ramirez misplayed the bounce on Yadier Molina’s single to open the fourth and shortstop Rafael Furcal followed with a wild relay to the plate on Miles’ RBI single as the Cardinals took a 4-1 lead.

Rookie Jon Jay, a defensive replacement in right field in the sixth inning, had an RBI double in the seventh to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. He’s batting .500 (19 for 38) during the longest current streak in the league.

Felipe Lopez had been 0 for 13 against Kershaw before his RBI double in the fourth. Craig, recalled from Triple-A Memphis earlier in the day, had a run-scoring groundout and sacrifice fly.

NOTES: Kershaw failed to qualify for a victory for only the third time in 19 starts. He had allowed two or fewer runs in nine of his previous 12 outings. … Carpenter hasn’t lost three straight decisions since 2002 when he lost four in a row with the Blue Jays. … Carpenter has allowed 15 homers, 11 of them with the bases empty, after surrendering seven all last season.

will not be displayed