Cardinals down the Padres

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Chris Carpenter pitched seven crisp innings, Matt Holliday hit a three-run homer and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the San Diego Padres 7-0 on Saturday night.

Carpenter (14-3) won his ninth consecutive decision and moved into a tie for the major league lead in victories. He allowed three hits, walked three and struck out six.

The NL Central-leading Cardinals moved eight games ahead of the Chicago Cubs, who lost 2-0 at Los Angeles. It's the largest margin for any division leader in baseball.

St. Louis is 12-3 since Chicago took over the Central lead by percentage points on Aug. 6, while the Cubs are in a 4-11 rut.

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