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COPY-Cards win, earn at least tie for NL wild card

By CHRIS DUNCAN
AP Sports Writer

HOUSTON (AP) - Chris Carpenter and the St. Louis Cardinals earned at least a tie for the NL wild card, beating the Houston Astros 8-0 on Wednesday night.

The Cardinals and Atlanta began the day even in the wild card race. When St. Louis finished, the Braves were tied with Philadelphia in extra innings.

If the Cardinals and Braves wind up even, they would play a 1-game tiebreaker in St. Louis on Thursday night.

Carpenter (11-9) struck out 11 and allowed two hits in his 15th career complete-game shutout as St. Louis kept up its improbable September charge. The Cardinals won for the 23rd time in 31 games, having trailed Atlanta by 10½ games on Aug. 25.

The Cardinals poured onto the field after Carpenter fielded J.D. Martinez's weak grounder for the final out. The celebration was brief and muted, as the team raced into the clubhouse to watch the end of the game in Atlanta.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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