KANSAS CITY -- New venue. Same swing. Repeat result.
So it goes for Matt Carpenter, who hasn't found a ballpark lately with dimensions deep enough to keep him confined. Homering for the sixth time in seven games on this road trip, Carpenter blasted his National League-leading 32nd home run to help lift the Cardinals to a 7-0 Interleague Series win in Kansas City on Friday night.
The two-run homer highlighted the club's five-run second inning and extended Carpenter's on-base streak to 28 consecutive games. Carpenter is hitting .353/.468/.892 with 16 homers, 23 extra-base hits and 27 RBIs during that stretch, which dates back to July 8.
During that stretch, he has surpassed Colorado's Nolan Arenado for the league lead in home runs. Arenado, who exited his game on Friday due to injury, has 29.
"Clearly, he's a special player, a special guy," said interim manager Mike Shildt said of Carpenter. "I'm just happy for him. He's put a lot of time and energy into his career and he's always looking to grow from the previous version of Matt Carpenter. So if people ask, 'Is this is a surprise for you?' Not really, for me personally, because he's always looking to evolve. That's a special trait. I'm just happy to see him get the fruits of his labor."
This is the third time since the All-Star break -- and the fourth time in 2018 -- that Carpenter has homered in three consecutive games. The only other Cardinals to do so four times in a single season since 2000 were Ryan Ludwick ('08) and Mark McGwire ('00).
Carpenter leads the Majors with 22 road home runs, eight leadoff home runs and 27 solo home runs. This time, though, his blast came with a runner on base. Ahead of him, Harrison Bader had extended the inning with a two-out single.
"Just having him on base in front of me, his speed alone, you have to think it might have bought me an extra fastball or so," said Carpenter, who took a fastball out of the zone before sending the next one 425 feet. "Yeah, it's a big part of it."
The reigning NL Player of the Week entered the series having pummeled Royals pitching (.463/.538/.870) at Kauffman Stadium in 14 career games. He's now hit more home runs (13) than anyone in the Majors since the All-Star break and has tallied 15 over his last 24 games.
Carpenter has already surpassed his previous single-season high in homers, which was 28. He's now seeking to become the first Cardinal since Jose Pujols in 2010 to lead the NL in home runs.