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Carpenter shining as starting second baseman

Carpenter shining as starting second baseman

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MIAMI -- On a team full of standouts, Matt Carpenter has earned himself some deserved attention.

The 27-year-old has been one of the top hitters in the National League, ranking in the Top 5 in batting average (fifth), hits (fourth) and on-base percentage (fourth) heading into Saturday's game against the Marlins.

Carpenter, who has an NL-best 27 multi-hit games this season, credits his success to several factors that have helped him shine in his first season as a starter.

"It's a combination of playing every day and having another year of experience under your belt," Carpenter said. "That experience helps you make the adjustments you need, but getting the opportunity to play every day is definitely a big part of it."

A third baseman by trade, Carpenter has worked hard to adapt to second base. While he committed an error in Friday's game, it was only his second in 47 games at his new position.

"Every day is a new day and I am trying to continue to get better," Carpenter said. "It happened with a lot of work with me and [coach] Jose Oquendo this offseason. We spent a lot of this offseason working really hard at it."

Carpenter, who was not in the lineup Saturday, made 80 starts while appearing in 117 games last season. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny is appreciative of how his second baseman is helping the club, but remains mindful of how much he plays Carpenter.

"For a young player that's never played every day in the big leagues, he's done a very good job of keeping himself going," Matheny said. "We've been very observant with watching how much he works. We've got a long way to go and we need him to be there for the long haul, so he will need a day every once in a while. Yesterday was just a frustrating day for him, so it's good to let him back off a bit."

David Villavicencio is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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