Carpenter exits early with oblique injury -

Carpenter exits early with oblique injury

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ST. LOUIS ( -- Just hours after they placed backup catcher Brayan Pena on the disabled list with knee inflammation, the Cardinals lost their MVP during the third inning against the Pirates Wednesday.

Matt Carpenter tried to check his swing on a 3-1 pitch from Jeff Locke in the bottom of the third and pulled up grabbing his side. He grimaced and stepped away from the plate, and was examined by a trainer.

After a short conversation, Carpenter walked off the field and was replaced by Kolten Wong at second base.

The Cardinals later announced their leadoff man suffered a right oblique injury and was being sent for tests. There was no information immediately available on the severity of the injury. 

Before exiting, the 30-year-old was the National League leader in OPS (.988) and on base percentage (.420), and has been the best leadoff hitter in the league over the past month and a half.

The injury comes just 24 hours after Carpenter was named as the only Cardinal representative in the All-Star Game.

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