ST. LOUIS — Mat Latos won his fourth straight decision to finish the regular season and Scott Rolen homered off Chris Carpenter, helping the Reds keep the Cardinals' postseason plans on hold with a 3-1 victory Tuesday night.
St. Louis' magic number for clinching the second NL wild card remained at one with a game to go. The Cardinals were left in the uncomfortable position of watching the Dodgers on television and rooting for a loss for the second straight night. Los Angeles, which began the day two games back with two remaining, played at home against the Giants later Tuesday.
Carpenter, 37, has a wealth of big-game experience and went 4-0 in the postseason last fall for the World Series champions, memorably outdueling Phillies ace Roy Halladay in Game 5 of the NL Division Series.
Injured most of this season, Carpenter made his third start and gave up two runs in the sixth to snap a tie at 1.