Cards escape big jam, tack on, lead 5-0

Chris Carpenter is pitching. This is weird. Even weirder: He's pitching well. That's not weird because of who he is, but because he had season-ending surgery that wasn't season-ending surgery. Usually pitchers who have ribs removed for thoracic outlet syndrome don't show back up in the majors for a few months.

He wasn't hit hard at all through the first four innings, but in the fifth, he walked Jayson Werth with one out. Ryan Zimmerman singled Werth to third with two outs, and Adam LaRoche walked to load the bases for Michael Morse ... who flew out to right.

The Cardinals added onto the lead in the top of the sixth, with Craig Stammen replacing Edwin Jackson and immediately hitting Yadier Molina with a pitch. David Freese connected for his 583rd career playoff double. Molina moved to third and scored on a Daniel Descalso sacrifice fly. Stammen struck out Pete Kozma and Carpenter to end the threat.

Which brings up an interesting point: Why was Carpenter pitching? He's been good, but he's at 89 pitches already, and there was a runner at third. Carpenter can't be at full-horse mode just yet, right?

But those are the quibbles that don't get a lot of attention with a five-run lead. And the Cardinals are in pretty good shape to go up 2-1 in the series.

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