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Carpenter won his seventh postseason game to tie Bob Gibson’s franchise record, but with none of the brilliance of his three-hit shutout over Roy Halladay and the favored Phillies in the deciding game of the division series. He lasted only five innings, with nearly half of his 89 pitches for balls.

The starters’ ineffectiveness was surprising considering their track records.

Carpenter has been clutch throughout his career in the postseason, going 7-2 with a 3.14 ERA in 12 games. Gallardo allowed only two runs in 21 innings, a minuscule 0.86 ERA, before Game 3.

The Cardinals have scored in the first inning in their last five games, and batted around against Gallardo in the first. Pujols delivered an RBI double after starring in a Game 2 win with a home run and three doubles, and then singled in the second to give him six hits in a stretch of seven at-bats.

St. Louis had its chances to break away later, but hit into three double plays and stranded nine runners. The Cardinals broke their own National League record for double plays this season.

Mark Kotsay started ahead of slumping Nyjer Morgan and homered for the Brewers. Yuniesky Betancourt had two singles and an RBI and Gallardo, a .221 hitter with a homer and four RBIs, had a sacrifice fly in the second.

Jon Jay and David Freese added RBI doubles in the first for St. Louis, which was 3 for 4 with runners in scoring position to start the game but 0 for 7 the rest of the way.

Gallardo, who’s 1-7 with a 5.66 career mark against the Cardinals, trailed 2-0 after his first 12 pitches and barely made it out of the first trailing 4-0. The right-hander walked three, one of them intentional, and the Brewers had Chris Narveson up in the bullpen before Yadier Molina grounded into a double play, scoring the fourth run, for his first outs.

Gallardo trudged to the dugout after his 33-pitch ordeal. He was looking forward to another chance at St. Louis.

“Yeah, I mean, of course,” Gallardo said. “I look forward to it. I can’t wait and hopefully we’ll get another shot at it.”

Luckily for the Brewers, Carpenter didn’t have his “A” game, either. By the third, the lead was down to one run.

The Cardinals‘ ace walked none in his brilliant three-hit shutout in Game 5 of the NLDS, but had a walk and a hit batsman in the Brewers‘ first three plate appearances.

Carpenter escaped with help from Kotsay, who strayed too far off second on Prince Fielder’s lineout to center and was doubled off the bag by Jay’s strong throw to end the inning. But Carpenter didn’t look comfortable in the second or third, either.

The Brewers opened the second with three straight singles with Betancourt getting the RBI. Gallardo, who batted .221 with a homer and four RBIs this season, added a sacrifice fly that cut the deficit to 4-2.

Kotsay got a spot start, partly because he’s 4 for 11 against Carpenter. Kotsay hit his second career postseason homer leading off the third. Morgan flied out to start the seventh as a pinch hitter and was roundly booed throughout the at-bat.

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