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Carpenter ready to face team that drafted him

ST. LOUIS -- Pitching against the team that drafted him is nothing new for Braves right-hander David Carpenter, but he might have a new thing or two to show his former teammates as Atlanta started a three-game series against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium on Friday night.

The Cardinals drafted Carpenter as a catcher in 2006 and converted him to a pitcher in 2008. Carpenter was traded in 2010 to Houston, where he faced the Cardinals for the first time in 2011.

Back then, he was a rookie just trying to establish himself. Now, Carpenter has become a key man out of the Atlanta bullpen, leading the team with 19 appearances this season.

"When I first came up with the Astros, it was just a matter of getting your feet wet and I was still learning how to pitch," Carpenter said. "Learning how to try and work counts and all that type of stuff. I've continued to learn that and just feel a little more confident in my stuff and feel a little more relaxed out there."

Carpenter picked up one of his two wins this season when the Cardinals visited Atlanta on May 6. More recently, he picked up his second save of the season with a perfect ninth inning against the Cubs on Sunday.

Carpenter still remembers playing with current Cardinals such as Yadier Molina, Allen Craig and Jon Jay in the Minors.

"It's fun to get a chance to come back here and reconnect with all the guys, but it's just a matter of going out there and we're not friends when they step into the batter's box," Carpenter said. "It's all about trying to get them out and trying to give our team a chance to win."

Joe Harris is a contributor to
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