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Rolen's homer breaks tie in eighth

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Chris Carpenter could hardly control his
emotions after Scott Rolen gave the St. Louis Cardinals the lead
with a late home run.

"I was fired up," Carpenter said. "I love being a part of
this team. It's so exciting to come to the field every night and
feeling -- and knowing -- you have a chance to win.

Rolen hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning, and
Carpenter pitched eight innings for his career-high 12th win to
lead the Cardinals to a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Expos on
Thursday night.

"When somebody does something special like that, well, I was
fired up," Carpenter said. "It's just a great experience to play
with the guys on this team."

Jim Edmonds also homered for the Cardinals, who have won 13 of
17 to move a season-high 31 games over .500.

"Two big swings," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said.

Rolen hit his 26th homer over the center-field fence on a 2-1
pitch from Luis Ayala (3-7) leading off the eighth. It was Rolen's
major league-leading 98th RBI, and his first home run at home since
May 27. His previous 13 homers all came on the road.

Rolen said he was aware of his lack of power at home.

"It had been slipped to me that my numbers at Busch Stadium
haven't been great," Rolen said. "My numbers at Busch Stadium are
less than stellar, but I've never had good numbers here when I was
with the Phillies and now that I'm here. I always seem to hit a
little better on the road. I don't know what the reason is."

The home run snapped Ayala's scoreless streak at 26 2-3 innings.

"I threw my best pitch," Ayala said. "I think he was waiting
for that pitch and it was a good pitch. I threw it inside, my
sinker, and it was for a strike -- and that's the game."

Ayala said he knew the ball was gone as soon as Rolen hit it.

"Yeah, I think goodbye," Ayala said. "That's it."

Jose Vidro had an RBI double for Montreal's lone run.

"In the series, we gave up too many home runs," Montreal
manager Frank Robinson said. "We couldn't keep the ball in the
ballpark in this series, and tonight was a perfect example."

Carpenter (12-4) allowed one run and four hits in eight innings,
striking out seven and walking one. He improved to 5-0 against
Montreal in seven career starts.

"All my pitches were there," Carpenter said. "I felt like I
had a good game plan going in. My changeup was much better than it
has been all year. I was able to get ahead in the counts."

Jason Isringhausen pitched the ninth for his 28th save in 33
chances.

Edmonds led off the sixth and homered on the first pitch from
starter John Patterson, tying it at 1. It was Edmonds' 30th homer,
and his eighth in 13 games. He has also raised his batting average
to 303.

Edmonds has scored at least one run in his past 11 games, the
longest streak this season for a St. Louis player. He has hit 30 or
more homers in four of his last five seasons with the Cardinals.

"I don't know really know," Edmonds said when asked what's
behind his streak. "I'm just going out there and trying to get
some hits. It's a weird game. I just go out there and play the
game."

St. Louis missed a chance at another run in the sixth. Roger
Cedeno followed Edmonds with a double to chase Patterson. With one
out, Cedeno was thrown out at the plate by center fielder Endy
Chavez on Mike Matheny's single.

It was the first time Patterson pitched past the fifth inning in
five starts since coming off the disabled list in July. He walked
five and gave up four hits, throwing 103 pitches.

The Expos scored in the sixth for a 1-0 lead. With one out, Brad
Wilkerson walked and scored on a two-out double to left by Vidro.

Game notes
Edmonds and Pujols (31 homers) are the sixth pair of
Cardinals teammates to hit 30 or more homers in a season. Rolen
could give St. Louis three 30-homer hitters for the first time. ...
Vidro remains one homer shy of 100. ... Montreal turned 11 double
plays in its previous four games, but none Thursday.