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Cardinals at Reds, Oct. 1

The job of an ace is to stop a losing streak by any means necessary.

Chris Carpenter knew going into what was essentially a final tune up Thursday that he was probably only going to pitch five innings. But he made the most of his short appearance by shutting out the Reds during his short stay on three hits ... and by hitting a grand slam and a two-run double to drive in a total of six runs.

blog post photo

Chris Carpenter hits a grand slam in the second inning Thursday against the Reds. He is a career .105 hitter. AP photo.

Rick Ankiel, Yadier Molina and Troy Glaus each chipped in a pair of hits as the slumping Cardinals offense busted out with a 15-hit day.

Glaus has only a .208 batting average in 24 at bats for the season. But the two RBI, two run day has to make manager Tony La Russa scratch his head about the post season roster. Can he trust the off injured Glaus? Can the Cardinals make do without Glaus' power bat when starting third baseman Mark DeRosa is hitting .050 over his last 20 at bats and struggling with wrist problems.

Under any other circumstances, I'd say Glaus doesn't deserve to be on the post season squad. But the Cardinals bench is terrible and he might be the best offensive threat the team can muster.

Cardinals Star of the Game: Carpenter.

Lowlight: Molina is still struggling with a bruise on his knee. He had to be pulled from the game early.