Chris Carpenter will make his first start of the season for the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday against the Houston Astros, according to Jennifer Langosch of MLB.com. Carpenter has yet to pitch this season due to Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and resulting surgery. He was not expected to pitch at all this season, but he will now return the Cardinals rotation just in time for the stretch run.
The Cardinals are 11 games behind the Cincinnati Reds for first place in the National League Central, but they hold a one-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers for the second and final National League Wild Card spot after beating them 5-2 on Sunday. A healthy Carpenter could give the Cardinals' rotation a much-needed boost, as Jake Westbrook has been sidelined with an oblique injury and Jaime Garcia has struggled since returning from the disabled list.
Carpenter last pitched in Game Seven of the 2011 World Series, in which he earned the win.
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