Chris Carpenter Gives Cardinals Another Injury Scare With Hamstring ‘Twinge’

JUPITER, Fla. — The St. Louis Cardinals had two aces when they arrived at spring training. Now, both are hurt.

Chris Carpenter left the Cardinals' 7-1 victory over the Florida Marlins in the third inning Tuesday after feeling a "twinge" in his left hamstring. The injury came one day after fellow All-Star Adam Wainwright had season-ending elbow surgery.

Carpenter was diagnosed with a strained left hamstring, but said the problem isn't serious.

"They don't think it's very bad so I'm not concerned with it," said Carpenter, who left the clubhouse with his upper left leg wrapped in ice. "We'll wait and see tomorrow. I'm sure they will know more, but what they say is, it doesn't seem like it's very bad."

Carpenter said he had never before had a hamstring injury.

The Cardinals' bad luck continued in the next inning when setup man Mitchell Boggs, rushed into the game to replace Carpenter, was escorted off the mound after straining his lower back.

Boggs said his back has been bothering him throughout the spring, but he doesn't think the injury is serious, either.

"It was kind of head-scratching," manager Tony La Russa said. "We kind of held our breath. We came in here and the doctors and trainers said they are minor.

"Looks like we caught a break."

The Cardinals haven't been so fortunate all spring, however.

Wainwright had Tommy John surgery Monday and is expected to be sidelined 12-15 months, a huge blow to the team. When healthy, Wainwright and Carpenter form one of the best top-of-the-rotation tandems in the majors.

Carpenter was cruising until he got hurt. He pitched 2 2/3 innings, allowing one hit, one walk and striking out two, before facing Chris Coghlan in the third. The right-hander said he felt a twinge on the pitch before he was removed.

"I tried to throw one more and it didn't feel too good so I came out," he said. "I couldn't throw. The next pitch I could barely put my foot on the ground. I'm not going to blow it out totally just to get through one more out of the first spring training game."

Carpenter was 16-9 with a 3.22 ERA last season.

Boggs pitched 67 1-3 innings last year, second-most on the team. He was 2-3 with a 3.61 ERA.

"I made that one pitch and I felt it a little bit more than I would like to," Boggs said. "We'll come in in the morning and see how it feels. They seemed very positive about it."

Boggs struck out the only two batters he faced.

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