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Carpenter, Cards step up for hurricane relief

Wainwright, club will match first baseman's donation of $10K for each home run he hits
MLB.com @LangoschMLB

ST. LOUIS -- Every ball Matt Carpenter puts over the fence over the next five weeks won't only help the Cardinals in their postseason push, but it will also aid with the ongoing flood relief efforts in Texas.

Hurricane Harvey hit close to home for Carpenter, who was born in Galveston, Texas, and then spent much of his childhood growing up in the Houston-area cities of La Marque and Missouri City. Both areas are experiencing substantial flooding, and Carpenter has been in contact with several friends who have experienced significant damage to their homes.

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ST. LOUIS -- Every ball Matt Carpenter puts over the fence over the next five weeks won't only help the Cardinals in their postseason push, but it will also aid with the ongoing flood relief efforts in Texas.

Hurricane Harvey hit close to home for Carpenter, who was born in Galveston, Texas, and then spent much of his childhood growing up in the Houston-area cities of La Marque and Missouri City. Both areas are experiencing substantial flooding, and Carpenter has been in contact with several friends who have experienced significant damage to their homes.

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While watching the images coming out of the area, Carpenter and his wife, Mackenzie, who is also from the area, felt compelled to find a way to give back. They decided to pledge $10,000 for every home run that Carpenter hits the rest of the season.

Video: Carpenter on donating to relief efforts in Houston

"This is kind of out of my comfort zone as far as bringing attention to myself," Carpenter said. "But just watching it with my wife, we're sitting there and they're going live to places where we grew up and streets that we've walked on that are completely submerged in water. We thought about it and came up with this for the sole purpose of exactly what's happened -- to generate some awareness."

Awareness has also turned into additional pledges. Adam Wainwright agreed to match the $10,000 donation per home run, as did the Cardinals. Principal owner Bill DeWitt Jr. called Carpenter on Tuesday to let him know of the Cardinals' plans.

Tweet from @MattCarp13: From now till the rest of the season we will donate 10,000 dollars for every Homerun I hit to help aid the relief efforts in Houston

"We want to do our part to help those in need and were inspired by Matt's leadership, as well as his and Adam's spontaneous generosity," DeWitt said.

That brings the total donation per Carpenter home run to $30,000.

Carpenter wasted no time drawing the first check, either. He teed off on a 1-1 fastball from Carlos Torres in the fifth inning Tuesday for a two-run homer to pad St. Louis' lead in an eventual 10-2 win. The 426-foot shot was Carpenter's longest home run since April.

Video: STL@MIL: Carpenter smashes a two-run shot in the 5th

"Now it's just a matter of me hitting some home runs," said Carpenter, who hit 17 homers through the team's first 130 games. "We are going to donate regardless. If I don't hit another home run, we're still planning on donating money. ... But who knows. It'd be a fun story if I can hit 10 or something. We'll see how it plays out."

Carpenter is not the only one in the Cardinals' clubhouse overwhelmed by the devastation in Texas. Manager Mike Matheny has two sons who remain trapped in an apartment building near San Jacinto Community College.

The two boys, Luke and Jake, transferred to the community college and moved into their bottom-floor apartment just two weeks ago. It was flooded, forcing the two to find refuge in an upstairs apartment rented by other baseball players. The water level in the parking lot, Matheny said, is waist high.

"I don't think they're as concerned as their mother is and their dad," Matheny said. "The coaching staff has done a good job of making sure they keep water and food. ... They're all huddled up there like a bunch of puppies."

Video: STL@MIL: Cardinals broadcast on Hurricane Harvey

Randal Grichuk said he has remained in constant contact with his parents, who still live in his hometown of Rosenberg, Texas, a suburb southwest of downtown Houston. The floodwaters have not reached their home, but part of the town is under mandatory evacuation and a massive sinkhole has made roads impassable.

"It's going to take years and years to recover and clean up, tear down and rebuild," Grichuk said. "It's devastating. Some people are going through some stuff that they will never recover from."

Tweet from @MattCarp13: My wife and I called the Houston area home for most of our lives and our hearts are hurting for those families affected by hurricane Harvey

For those wanting to assist with relief efforts, Cardinals Care announced that it has established a special Hurricane Harvey Children's Relief Fund at youcaring.com. All funds raised will go to the American Red Cross to help children impacted by the storm.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

St. Louis Cardinals, Matt Carpenter