ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals' offense scored exactly as many runs as Chris Carpenter allowed on Tuesday night. Believe it or not, that was good news for the offense and bad news for the former National League Cy Young winner.
Carpenter endured one of the worst outings of his career on Tuesday night, allowing eight runs in four innings as the Cardinals fell to the D-backs, 13-8, at Chase Field. The big right-hander never settled in, allowing at least one run in every inning he pitched and surrendering two home runs and two doubles among eight hits.
So while a previously slumbering offense continued to gain momentum, it did so in a losing cause.
"We had a lot of good swings up and down the lineup," manager Tony La Russa said. "But this is a team game. We got beat. Whether you score a lot of runs or you lose, 3-2, it's still a loss. But that is something. We're trying to get some guys going. It's a good sign."
Things didn't get any better for the St. Louis pitching staff after Carpenter came out of the game. Brian Tallet was touched for a run in his only inning, and Bryan Augenstein allowed four runs in 1 2/3 frames. Both were injured in the process, with Augenstein headed for the disabled list with a right groin strain and Tallet possibly to follow with an injured right hand.
The difficult pitching night obscured yet another exceptional night from the Cards' offense, which has scored 22 runs in three games -- more than it scored in the season's first eight contests.
Despite trailing by scores of 2-0, 5-2, 8-3 and 9-5, the visitors kept charging, pulling close one last time with a three-run sixth that made it 9-8. In the next half-inning, though, Augenstein surrendered a three-run pinch-homer to Juan Miranda that just about salted it away.
"Give St. Louis credit," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "They were down that whole game and they kept coming and coming. They pressured us very hard. It was like a toe-to-toe game. it was one of those nights offensively for both teams."
Lance Berkman, Colby Rasmus and David Freese all went deep for St. Louis, which banged out 16 hits, including five for extra bases. Albert Pujols went 3-for-5, getting his batting average back to .200.
It would have been a great night, but for Carpenter's difficulties. He got the first two batters of the game before allowing the next four to reach base, falling behind, 2-0, in the first. Justin Upton hit a mammoth three-run homer in the second. In the third and fourth, Carpenter appeared to be finding his form a little bit, but Chris Young smacked a two-run homer with two outs in the fourth for the last runs against Carpenter.
"I had a really good warmup, and going out there I felt good about my stuff," Carpenter said. "It's just one of those nights. I don't really have a lot to say. I made good pitches, I made bad pitches. No matter what I threw in there, they hit it. I'm not going to concern myself a whole lot with it. Get ready to go on Sunday."
It was the 12th time in Carpenter's career that he's allowed at least eight runs, and the fifth time in his tenure in St. Louis. Only six previous times did he allow eight earned runs in a game. Never before in his St. Louis career had Carpenter permitted eight runs and two homers in the same game.
"It was just one of those nights," he said. "I didn't make a ton of great pitches, but the ones I did, they hit. I'm making good pitches but they're getting hits. Then I spin one in to Upton and he hits it  feet. That's just the way it works. I made some good pitches. I made some bad ones. No matter what I threw in there, they hit it, is the bottom line."
The Cards fell to 4-7 on the season. They're 2-3 halfway through a 10-game, three-city, western road swing.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.