Cardinals lose game, Carpenter
Right-hander leaves after straining left rib cage
PHOENIX -- The way Chris Carpenter was pitching Tuesday against the Diamondbacks, it appeared as if the three runs his team spotted him in the top of the fourth inning would be more than enough offense for a victory.
The trouble is, Carpenter stopped pitching.
With Carpenter off the mound because of an injury, the Diamondbacks attacked the Cardinals' bullpen, rallied late and ended up coming away with a 7-6 come-from-behind victory in 10 innings at Chase Field.
In the bottom of the 10th inning, Diamondbacks right fielder Justin Upton scored from third base on a single by left fielder Eric Byrnes off Brad Thompson, the Cardinals' seventh pitcher in the contest, to give Arizona the win.
The Cardinals did not go down without a fight. With the Diamondbacks leading, 6-4, in the top of the ninth inning, the Cardinals scored two runs off Diamondbacks reliever Chad Qualls. The second came on an RBI single by Albert Pujols with the bases loaded and one out to tie the game at 6. Qualls responded by striking out Brendan Ryan and Rick Ankiel to end the inning.
The Cardinals led, 4-3, with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, but Diamondbacks pinch-hitter Conor Jackson hit a three-run home run off Cardinals reliever Josh Kinney to push the home team ahead, 6-4
As for Carpenter, he was removed from the game after three shutout innings because of a strained left rib cage. He will be evaluated Wednesday. The right-hander had allowed four hits and struck out two batters in the 50-pitch outing before he was replaced by Kyle McClellan to start the fourth inning.
"No matter what happened in the game, the important thing is it looks like he is going to be out for a while," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "That kind of overwhelms everything else that happened in that game. ... I'm not happy. This is a [bad] day. I'm not going to fake it."
Carpenter's teammates didn't let him down. You can argue they never let up.
Scoreless after three innings, Pujols led off the top of the fourth with a double. Chris Duncan followed with a double of his own to bring Pujols home and put the Cardinals ahead, 1-0. Two batters later, Yadier Molina smacked a double to center field that scored Duncan and Ankiel for the three-run lead. Ankiel reached base via a walk off Diamondbacks starter Max Scherzer.
Scherzer rebounded to retire Joe Thurston on a ground ball. Carpenter, the next batter, watched the first pitch to him sail over the plate for a called strike. He swung at the next pitch, grounding out to third base while also straining his left rib cage on the swing.
The Diamondbacks answered with two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning on a two-run home run by Mark Reynolds to cut the Cardinals' lead to 3-2, but Molina made his presence felt in the top of the sixth. The catcher drew a walk off Diamondbacks reliever Jon Rauch, stole second base and scored on a single to center field by Thurston to extend the lead to 4-2.
The Diamondbacks scored a run in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI single by Stephen Drew for the team's third run, but reliever Dennys Reyes recovered to retire Chad Tracy to end the scoring threat and the inning.
"It's an unfortunate thing," Carpenter said. "There's not much to say about it other than I pulled my oblique muscle. A lot of people pull their oblique muscle. Unfortunately, it happened."
Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.