Chris Carpenter faced live hitters for first time since March

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Chris Carpenter took another step in his comeback from neck and shoulder injuries today by facing live hitters for the first time since spring training.

Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that Carpenter threw 34 pitches to an assortment of Cardinals batters, mixing in off-speed stuff with fastballs.

According to Strauss the plan is for Carpenter to face live hitters a couple more times before potentially scheduling a minor-league rehab assignment.