Game Report: Cardinals 3, Marlins 2

Matt Carpenter’s bid to make this a historic season continued Tuesday night – and he gave the Cardinals a win in the process.

Carpenter’s home run in the eighth inning broke a 2-2 tie and sent the Cardinals to the win over the Marlins in Miami. It was his 30th home run of the season as he regained the top spot in the National League home run chase, one ahead of Colorado’s Nolan Arenado.

That’ the historic feat that Carpenter is chasing. Jayson Stark of reported this week that research conducted by the Elias Sports Bureau found that no hitter who was primarily a leadoff hitter has ever led his league in home runs for a season.

The home run was Carpenter’s fifth in his last eight games. He has hit 24 of his 30 homers out of the leadoff spot.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: The Cardinals had been limited to three hits through the first six innings and trailed 2-0 before Paul DeJong tied the game with his seventh-inning homer, his 10th of the season. The homer followed a one-out walk to Jedd Gyorko. DeJong also doubled in the fifth, giving him two extra base hits in a game for the first time since April 21 … Carpenter’s homer in the eighth came with one out after he had gone hitless in his first three at-bats, striking out twice. It extended his streak of reaching base to 26 consecutive games, also a career high.

On the mound: Carpenter’s home run made Miles Mikolas the winner, improving his record to 12-3. He allowed just five hits and the two Miami runs over seven innings, needing only 81 pitches to get through the seventh. He did not walk a batter and only struck out one, getting 15 of his 21 outs on groundballs … Dakota Hudson pitched the eighth, allowing one hit and benefitting from a great diving catch by Harrison Bader in center field, before Bud Norris pitched around a one-out walk and a wild pitch to strand the potential tying run at second base and earn his 22nd save.

Key stat: Carpenter became only the sixth left-handed hitter to reach the 30-homer mark in a season in franchise history. It’s the 15th time it has been done. The team record for most homers by a left-handed hitter is 43 by Johnny Mize in 1940. The others to do it were Jim Edmonds (4 times), Stan Musial (6 times), Ray Lankford (2 times) and Jim Bottomley. Carpenter is the first to do it since Edmonds hit 42 homers in 2004.

Worth noting:
Tyson Ross was added to the active roster before the game and John Brebbia was once again optioned to Memphis. Ross, at least initially, will be used out of the bullpen … Adam Wainwright threw a bullpen session before the game and is expected to relocate his rehab to the spring training facility in Jupiter, Fla., after the Cardinals leave Miami on Wednesday night … The manager of the Cardinals Triple A team in Memphis, Stubby Clapp, was named Tuesday to manage the Surprise Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League after this season …The Cardinals promoted one of their top prospects, 19-year-old third baseman Elehuris Montero on Tuesday from Peoria to Palm Beach.

Looking ahead: John Gant will get the start on Wednesday night in the final game of the series against the Marlins.