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St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Chris Carpenter, left, is greeted by third base coach Jose Oquendo and teammates in the dugout after being relieved in the sixth inning of Game 3 of the NLDS against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday.

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Carpenter pitches Cards past Nationals, 8-0

Taking the mound for only the fourth time in 2012 after complicated surgery to cure numbness on his right side, the 37-year-old Chris Carpenter spoiled the return of postseason baseball to Washington by throwing scoreless ball into the sixth inning, and the defending champion Cardinals beat the Nationals 8-0 Wednesday to take a 2-1 lead in their NL division series.

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