ST. LOUIS – Chris Carpenter pitched a four-hitter, and Yadier Molina, Jim Edmonds and Albert Pujols homered Saturday night to lead the St. Louis Cardinals over the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-0.

Carpenter (11-4) struck out 11 and walked none in his eighth career shutout, his third this season. He improved to 4-1 with an 0.90 ERA in June, and two of his three complete games have come in his last three starts, a span in which he’s allowed one run and nine hits in 26 innings and lowered his ERA to 2.77.

Carpenter, who tied Florida’s Dontrelle Willis for the major league lead in shutouts, retired his first seven batters with no balls hit to the outfield, striking out the side in the second. He also helped himself at the plate with a squeeze bunt that made it 5-0 in the fourth.

St. Louis, an NL-best 47-27, has homered eight times in the last two games while outscoring the Pirates 16-1. The Cardinals have won 14 of their last 15 games against Pittsburgh.

Mark Redman (4-6) gave up five runs and eight hits in five innings, surrendering Molina’s solo shot and Edmonds two-run homer in a three-run third. In his last two outings he’s given up 11 runs in 12 innings, and he’s lost both starts against the Cardinals while allowing 11 runs in nine innings.

Pittsburgh has dropped 10 of 13 overall and is 4-12 in its last 16 road games.

Three straight singles, including a run-scoring hit by So Taguchi, and a balk by Redman highlighted the fourth. Carpenter’s squeeze on a 2-1 pitch drove in the second run.

Pujols connected off Ryan Vogelsong in the seventh for his 20th homer.

Notes: Carpenter has 16 career complete games. … Of Edmonds’ 13 homers, only six have come with runners on. But the last three have been two-run drives. … Pirates pitchers have allowed at least one homer in seven straight games, totaling 15 in that stretch. … Matt Lawton, who was 1-for-4 with two strikeouts and a groundout, is 4-for-32 against Cardinals pitching. … Taguchi, who had two homers on Friday and two hits on Saturday, is 23-for-55 (.418) in his last 15 starts. … The paid crowd of 48,413 gave the Cardinals 11 sellouts in their last 12 games.

AP-ES-06-25-05 2131EDT

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