With his 11th-inning go-ahead double in Wednesday night's game against the Kansas City Royals, Matt Carpenter became the first St. Louis Cardinals player since Ryan Ludwick in 2009 to record five hits in a single game, per Jim Hayes of Fox Sports Midwest.
Carpenter had a hit in each of his five at-bats, filling the box score with two doubles, two RBI, two runs scored and a walk. Having put together a two-hit, two-walk performance in Tuesday's loss to the Royals, he carries a hit streak of seven at-bats into Thursday's game.
The Cardinals second baseman is in the midst of quite a hot streak, having now logged multihit performances in 10 of his last 15 games. Over that span, Carpenter is slashing .422/.471/.578 with 27 total hits, nine of them going for extra bases.
On a team that's struggling to find offense this season, the 28-year-old Carpenter is one of the few players bringing a consistent bat to the table. Hitting at the top of the order, Carpenter leads the Cards in on-base percentage (.395), total hits (73), total bases (94) and runs scored (40) entering Thursday's game.
Carpenter broke out in a big way during the 2013 campaign, logging 199 total hits (55 doubles) while posting a .318 batting average on his way to finishing fourth in NL MVP voting. He proceeded to get off to a bit of a slow start in 2014, hitting just .256 though his first 43 games of the season. The recent tear has brought Carpenter's production back up to expectations, as he now owns a .307 average after hitting safely in 16 of his last 17 games.