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10/04/05 3:18 PM ET

Carpenter leaves after six innings

Cards ace complains of cramps on hot day in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter, working on a shutout in Game 1 of the National League Division Series, came out of the contest with an apparent case of dehydration while warming up for the seventh inning.

Carpenter, whose career-high 241 2/3 innings pitched this year tied for second-most in the league, complained of cramping in his throwing hand, attributed to dehydration. He was removed as a precautionary measure.

"When I was out there in the sixth, my hands, my fingers started cramping up and the same thing happened when I went up to hit," said Carpenter. "I went to put my batting gloves on and the same thing, both hands. My fingers were cramping, so I mentioned something to [trainer Barry Weinberg] and I went back out. I mean, it only happened twice, but I went back out to [pitch] and they weren't going to take the chance with an eight-run lead."

Downtown temperature at the time Carpenter left the game was 87 degrees with 53-percent humidity. Carpenter said he's never before experienced similar cramping.

"I drank a lot of water last night and was drinking all day today, but it was pretty hot out there," Carpenter said. "I feel better now. I had a little bit in my hamstrings and calf and in my arms, but I've been drinking since I got out of the game and I feel fine now."

Up to that point, the Cy Young candidate had thrown six scoreless innings and 91 pitches. He had allowed three hits and three walks, but was aided with three double-play grounders turned by his infield defense.

Carpenter would be the likely Cardinals starting pitcher if a Game 5 was necessary Monday. Manager Tony La Russa said he was told the condition was caused by the unusual heat.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.