MIAMI (AP) – Chris Carpenter pitched 7 2-3 innings to become the first 19-game winner in the major leagues, and David Eckstein went 4-for-5 with three RBIs to help the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Florida Marlins 6-1 Monday night.

Carpenter (19-4) beat the Marlins for the second time in August and improved to 11-0 in his past 14 starts. He allowed seven hits but only one run, stranding four runners in scoring position.

Jeff Conine drove in Florida’s run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth, ending a streak of 24 consecutive scoreless innings pitched by the Cardinals.

Albert Pujols went 0-for-5 for St. Louis, but Eckstein hit an RBI single in the third and tripled home two runs in the fourth. Teammate Larry Walker hit his 12th homer over the center-field wall leading off the third.

Florida missed a chance to tie Philadelphia for the NL wild-card lead, and A.J. Burnett (12-8) lost his second start in a row after winning seven consecutive starts. He gave up a season-high six walks, and four led to runs – including one to Carpenter, an .031 hitter.

Burnett threw 95 pitches in five innings and departed trailing 6-1.

St. Louis left the bases loaded in the first when John Mabry tapped out, but the Cardinals scored in the second. Yadier Molina led off with a walk, advanced on a sacrifice and came home on Eckstein’s two-out single.

Burnett struck out the first two batters in the fourth before walking Abraham Nunez and Carpenter. Eckstein pushed the next pitch into the right-field corner for a triple, then scored when Miguel Cabrera – who last week moved from left field to third base – failed to handle Walker’s grounder for an error.

Burnett walked the first two batters in the fifth, and Molina singled home a run.

Notes: Carlos Delgado and Cabrera are the only Marlins to homer since Aug. 5. … The Cardinals have won 12 of their past 18 road games. They improved their all-time record in Miami to 29-21. … Florida’s Mike Lowell singled in the seventh to improve to 3-for-4 this year as a pinch hitter. … The Marlins’ Paul Lo Duca was ejected by first-base umpire Ted Barrett for arguing from the dugout after he grounded out for the second out in the ninth. … The Cardinals’ Jason Isringhausen threw 26 pitches in the ninth.

AP-ES-08-29-05 2159EDT


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