MILWAUKEE -- What a seven-day stretch it has been for Matt Carpenter, who opened it with the euphoria of welcoming a baby girl into the world and then returned to work to put together one of the most impressive two-day offensive stretches in recent franchise history.After collecting a season-high four
MILWAUKEE -- What a seven-day stretch it has been for Matt Carpenter, who opened it with the euphoria of welcoming a baby girl into the world and then returned to work to put together one of the most impressive two-day offensive stretches in recent franchise history.
After collecting a season-high four hits on Monday, Carpenter came back with an encore performance to key the Cardinals' 10-3 win over the Brewers on Tuesday. In doing so, he became the first Cardinals player since Bernard Gilkey in 1993 to produce four-hit performances on consecutive days. Jim Edmonds, in 2003, tallied consecutive four-hit games, as well, but those were sandwiched around an appearance in the field.
"Jealous," teammate Jedd Gyorko quipped afterward of Carpenter's roll. "I want that."
Of Carpenter's eight hits in this series, five have gone for extra bases. That included a leadoff double that opened Tuesday's game and sparked a two-run inning, as well as RBI triples in the seventh and eighth as the Cardinals battered the Brewers bullpen.
With two four-hit games in the series, Carpenter now has 10 in his career. But Tuesday marked the first time he had tripled twice in the same day and just the second time he's scored four runs. His previous four-hit, four-run game came on July 30, 2015, against the Rockies.
• Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for Carpenter and other #ASGWorthy players
"It's just one of those funny stretches you go through with baseball," said Carpenter. "When you feel good, you feel good. Hits come in bunches. I've had stretches this year where I've felt really good and was hitting balls right at people. Baseball has a funny way of working itself out and I'm going through a good stretch right now."
Carpenter became the first Cardinal since Musial (1943) to collect two triples, one double and a single in a game. On Wednesday, he'll look to match Musial again, this time as the only players in franchise history to string together three consecutive four-hit games.
"Just a real nice approach," manager Mike Matheny said. "Even his out was hard. He's seeing the ball well. He's grinding. He's impressive when he gets to a spot like this."
The flurry of hits to close the month boosted Carpenter's May average to .309. He had 19 extra-base hits, scored 21 runs, drove in 18 and posted a 1.048 OPS during the month.
"I'm just trying to have good at-bats and get good pitches to hit, take good short swings," Carpenter said. "Things are happening."
Carpenter's monstrous day at the plate helped the Cardinals reach double digits in scoring for the 10th time already in 53 games. To put that into sharper context, consider that over the last two seasons combined, the Cardinals have scored 10-plus runs in a game 12 times in total.
In fact, Carpenter is keying an offense that continues to blow past its 2015 benchmarks. At the end of May a year ago, the Cardinals had a team OPS of .737 OPS and 40 home runs. They ranked sixth in the National League with 209 runs scored.
This year's unit is pacing the NL with 292 runs, has hit 71 homers and boasts a slash line of .268/.340/.460 with an .800 OPS.
Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast.