Cards win again, pull to 3 1/2 back of wild card - KMOV.com

Cards win again, pull to 3 1/2 back of wild card

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In this image taken with slow shutter speed, Philadelphia Phillies' Cole Hamels pitches in the third inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) By Matt Slocum In this image taken with slow shutter speed, Philadelphia Phillies' Cole Hamels pitches in the third inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) By Matt Slocum
In this image taken with slow shutter speed, St. Louis Cardinals' Chris Carpenter pitches in the third inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) By Matt Slocum In this image taken with slow shutter speed, St. Louis Cardinals' Chris Carpenter pitches in the third inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) By Matt Slocum

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Allen Craig hit two homers and drove in three runs, Chris Carpenter gave up eight hits in eight innings, and the St. Louis Cardinals improved their playoff chances with a 5-0 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday night.

Albert Pujols also homered for the Cardinals (83-69), who pulled within 3 1/2 games of the Atlanta Braves in the NL wild-card chase with their ninth win in 11 games. The Cardinals remained 6 1/2 back of the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central.

Carpenter (15-8) recorded all but four of his outs by groundballs, and induced three double plays. Only three Phillies reached second and none advanced to third. Carpenter finished with five strikeouts and one walk.

Chase Utley had three hits for the Phillies (98-53).

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