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Carpenter returns to Cards' lineup 0

QMI Agency
St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Chris Carpenter reacts after striking out Texas Rangers' Michael Young to end the fifth inning in Game 7 of MLB's World Series baseball championship in St. Louis, Missouri, October 28, 2011. (REUTERS/Jeff Haynes)

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Chris Carpenter reacts after striking out Texas Rangers' Michael Young to end the fifth inning in Game 7 of MLB's World Series baseball championship in St. Louis, Missouri, October 28, 2011. (REUTERS/Jeff Haynes)

Right-hander Chris Carpenter will return to the St. Louis Cardinals lineup sooner than expected, getting the starting assignment Friday.

Carpenter, 37, has not pitched in the majors this season because of nerve-related tissue problems in his neck and shoulder. The issue eventually required surgery in July, with the possibility of sidelining Carpenter until next spring.

"I'm looking forward to (returning)," he said. "We've worked hard to get back and be able to do this. Like we've said all along, we weren't expecting it, but I'm excited. I think it's going to be a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to getting back out there and competing."

Carpenter is expected to make three starts before the season ends Oct. 3.

"He's a presence on this team," manager Mike Matheny said. "He's a leader on this team. We're excited for him. We're excited for us. I'm anxious to watch him pitch."

The Cardinals are challenging for a National League wild-card spot.

ACE MAY FACE LONG REHAB

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw would be sidelined until next May should he require surgery on his right hip, sources told the Los Angeles Times Monday.

Kershaw is scheduled to be in New York to get a second opinion Tuesday on his injury from Dr Bryan Kelly. A decision on treatment is to be made after the consultation.

Kershaw, 24, has a 12-9 record this season with a 2.70 earned-run average. The left-hander was unable to make his scheduled start Sunday.

SIDELINED LEWIS SIGNS

Colby Lewis spurned the option of becoming a free agent in the off-season, signing a one-year contract Monday to stay with the Texas Rangers.

The 33-year-old is recuperating season-ending surgery in July to repair a torn tendon in his elbow.

Lewis, the Rangers' opening day starter, had a 6-6 record with a 3.43 ERA in 16 starts this season.

BRIEFLY

Giancarlo Stanton was out of the Miami Marlins lineup Monday because of a right oblique strain. The outfielder was hitting .283 with 34 homers and 81 RBI.


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