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Byrnes ignores jeers, delivers in 10th for D’backs

Felipe Lopez (left) celebrates the game-winning hit by teammate Eric Byrnes in the 10th inning of the Arizona Diamondbacks game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday in Phoenix.

Felipe Lopez (left) celebrates the game-winning hit by teammate Eric Byrnes in the 10th inning of the Arizona Diamondbacks game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday in Phoenix.

PHOENIX – Mired in a 1-for-17 slump, Eric Byrnes heard it from the Chase Field crowd as he walked to the plate in the 10th inning.

The jeers quickly turned to cheers when Byrnes, once a fan favorite, lined a two-out RBI single to give the Arizona Diamondbacks a 7-6 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.

The hit to left field came on the first delivery from Brad Thompson (0-1) and scored Justin Upton from third base. Upton had snapped out of an 0-for-15 slide with a single – and he was only one of the slumping hitters on a team that entered with a .225 batting average, 14th in the NL.

“I know as a team we just haven’t been able to get the bats going,” Upton said. “But to see guys like Eric and myself, guys who have been struggling, get some hits, that was big for us.”

After being mobbed by his teammates, the usually talkative Byrnes left without speaking to reporters.

The defeat was especially painful for the Cardinals, who lost starting pitcher Chris Carpenter to a rib cage injury. Carpenter, who has not allowed a run in 10 innings, was removed in the fourth inning after straining his left rib cage swinging the bat.

The Cardinals led 3-0 at the time, and Carpenter had stranded runners at second base in each of the first three innings.

“The most important thing is that Chris Carpenter got hurt,” St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said. “A 3-0 lead with him pitching, no matter what happens in the game, the most important thing is it looks like he’s going to be out for a while. That kind of overwhelms everything else that happened in that game.”

Carpenter, the 2005 NL Cy Young Award winner, allowed four hits in three innings, striking out two.

The 33-year-old right-hander made only four appearances last season after reconstructive elbow surgery. He underwent another procedure in November to transpose an elbow nerve that was irritating the muscles in the back of his shoulder and around his neck.

Now it appears Carpenter is headed for the disabled list again.

“I’m not happy,” La Russa said. “I ain’t going to fake it.”

The feeling was different in Arizona’s clubhouse. The Diamondbacks had stumbled to a 2-5 start, their worst since 2004, when they opened 2-6 on their way to a club-record 111 losses.

They appeared headed for another defeat until the eighth, when pinch hitter Conor Jackson hit a go-ahead, three-run homer. But St. Louis tied it in the ninth on singles by Colby Rasmus and Albert Pujols off closer Chad Qualls.



St. Louis (Pineiro 1-0) at Arizona (Garland 1-0), 12:40 p.m. Wednesday. TV: FSNA. Radio: 1490 AM

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