CIN@STL: Carpenter notches four hits against the Reds

ST. LOUIS -- Infielder Matt Carpenter is making a strong impression on his manager with his hot start.

"I think he's a pretty mature hitter," Mike Matheny said. "The fact that he has a very, very good knowledge of his strike zone; he's got a knowledge of the league. He goes in with a pretty good game plan. When he has an at-bat like the other day when we got guys in scoring position and he strikes out, that's just not something you see.

"He just grinds out at-bats and fights off the tough pitches and seems to be on top of the ones that are left with too much of the plate. Things you don't expect to see on a consistent basis for a guy who's only had a year and some change in this league."

Carpenter makes his ninth start in 10 games on Friday vs. the Brewers, his third start at second base and his eighth time hitting in the No. 2 spot in the lineup.

The 27-year-old left-handed hitter appeared in his 130th Major League game over parts of three seasons on Wednesday. In 346 career at-bats he is hitting .295/.369/.465 with 28 doubles, seven homers, 52 RBIs and 55 runs scored.

Cards dedicate Friday's game to Stan the Man

MIL@STL: Cardinals honor Musial with plaque

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals are dedicating Friday night's game to honoring the life and legacy of Hall of Famer Stan Musial.

"Whenever you have an icon and a hero to so many people ... you take whatever opportunities you can to honor the memory," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said before Friday's game. "I think the Cardinals have done a great job staying on top of that, and the fans have appreciated it. It's just an opportunity for us to be a part of it."

On Monday's home opener, the Cardinals honored Musial -- who died in January at the age of 92 -- with a video tribute and the unveiling of a No. 6 decal on the wall in left-center field.

Friday's celebration included all fans receiving a No. 6 commemorative window cling, which resembles the patch the Cardinals are wearing on the left sleeve of their jerseys this season, and ticketed fans ages 16 and older are receiving a collectable Stan Musial harmonica.

Fans were to be asked to join in by playing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" on their harmonicas in the middle of the sixth inning as part of the tribute.

Musial's family participated in a pregame ceremony that included ceremonial pitches and the dedication of a plaque in Stan's honor.

Musial left lasting impression on Matheny

MIL@STL: Matheny talks about pitching, Musial

ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals manager Mike Matheny still remembers the first time he met Stan Musial, way back in 1991.

"Right after I was drafted, I was at a wedding and Stan was there with Jack Buck, and Stan came over on his own and talked to me and 30 minutes later he's still treating me like I'm something special and I couldn't believe it," Matheny said. "It was pretty unforgettable."

Matheny smiled at the memory.

"This particular wedding, they scheduled this top group that took a year to get them scheduled and I'm sure it was real expensive, and I think they saw the stage for one song," Matheny said. "Stan took the rest of the time. Nobody was about to ask him to get off the stage."

Matheny, who played in the Major Leagues for 13 years and is in his second year as the Cardinals manager, spent some time with Musial in the years since that first meeting.

And the manager was left with a lasting impression from those times.

"I took as much as I could get and I was always impressed," Matheny said. "He made an impact, an impression on me about how you go about this game and how you go about treating people."

Adams makes his mark in 100th career AB

CIN@STL: Adams' RBI double adds insurance to the lead

ST. LOUIS -- Matt Adams' RBI double in the seventh inning on Wednesday came in the rookie first baseman's 100th career at-bat at the Major League level.

In those first 100 at-bats, the left-handed hitter has a .300 batting average with eight doubles, four home runs and 20 RBIs. Adams has a career .340 on-base percentage and .500 slugging percentage.

If you project those numbers over a full 162-game season, Adams, a 23rd-round selection in the 2009 Draft out of Slippery Rock University, would hit 42 doubles, 21 home runs and 105 RBIs.

In 1,430 minor league at-bats, the 24-year-old Adams had a slash line of .318/.365/.930 with 103 doubles, 82 home runs, 291 RBIs over 366 games.

Adams, who had hit two-run homers in his previous two games, was not in the Cardinals starting lineup for Friday's series opener against the Brewers. Manager Mike Matheny was asked about the challenge of getting the rookie back into the lineup.

"We have some good players," Matheny said. "That's a nice problem to have. To keep Matt feeling good about his swing is going to be a big priority for us and figure out how that looks. We should be getting guys more rest, but I've told this a number of times now, these guys aren't looking for rest. They are not real happy about it, but they understand."