Carpenter looks to go deeper vs. LA

Carpenter looks to go deeper vs. LA

ST. LOUIS -- With Adam Wainwright seemingly on the cusp of returning to the Cardinals, Chris Carpenter will make his second start since coming off the disabled list.

Facing the Dodgers and newly acquired slugger Manny Ramirez, Carpenter will be on a slightly higher pitch count, though Cards manager Tony La Russa said nothing is written in stone.

"I think he's still beginning his timing," La Russa said. "You watch him until you figure it's a struggle. Then you stop pushing."

Carpenter has made three career starts against the Dodgers, winning all three games with a 3.00 ERA. It will be his first start against them since July 14, 2006.

In his first start since Opening Day 2007, Carpenter looked promising. In four innings, Carpenter gave up one run on five hits and threw 67 pitches in Wednesday's 7-2 win over the Braves.

Pitching matchup
STL: RHP Chris Carpenter (0-0, 2.25 ERA)
Carpenter will try to stretch it past four innings in his first home start since undergoing Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery. A major key for the right-hander will be getting off to a good start, so he doesn't use up all of his pitches in the first two or three innings. His pattern in rehab starts as well as his first regular-season start was a slow beginning, followed by significant improvement.

LAD: RHP Chad Billingsley (11-9, 3.05 ERA)
In his last start, Billingsley beat the Giants with a five-hitter and is 7-2 since mid-June. He leads the Dodgers' rotation in all the pertinent categories: victories, strikeouts and innings. He's become the latest staff ace, even though he just turned 24.

Troy Glaus needs four home runs to reach 300 for his career. ... The Cardinals are second in the Majors in walks, drawing 429 this year. Redbirds pitchers have only allowed 360, good for the fifth fewest in the Majors. ... The Cardinals are 21-20 in one-run games this season.

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Up next
• Wednesday: Cardinals (Joel Pineiro, 3-5, 5.04) vs. Dodgers (Derek Lowe, 8-9, 3.70), 7:15 p.m. CT
• Thursday: Cardinals (Kyle Lohse, 13-3, 3.73) vs. Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw, 1-3, 4.02), 1:15 p.m. CT
• Friday: Cardinals (Braden Looper, 10-9, 4.29) at Cubs (Ted Lilly, 11-6, 4.35), 1:20 p.m. CT

Lee Hurwitz is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.