Rehabilitating St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter passed another test on his comeback trail Monday.

Carpenter threw 40-plus pitches of live batting practice to teammates Shane Robinson and Matt Adams, both of whom said Carpenter appeared as nasty as ever.

Carpenter also was pleased with his first encounter with hitters.

"It was a good first step," said Carpenter, who has been throwing bullpens for the past six weeks. "Basically, it was the same exact thing that we've done the last two times except we threw some hitters in there."

Carpenter, 38, isn't looking too far ahead, although a rehab assignment in the minors is on the horizon.

"I'm sure I'm going to continue to repeat this a few different times before I do anything different," Carpenter said. "When that will be, I don't know. ... (But) I will say that I felt good. I felt in control of my body and my stuff feels pretty good. Hopefully, I can continue to get sharper and stronger."

Clearly, Carpenter is trending in the right direction.

"This is the first time I've had three (sessions) in a row that really went well," he said. "Before, I was throwing a couple of good ones and having a couple of bad ones. I've been able to get up there consistently three times in a row. My stuff was OK today, but it still needs to get better."

Robinson also faced Carpenter in live batting practice late last season when Carpenter was coming back from thoracic outlet syndrome surgery.

"He had a lot better stuff this first time out than last year's first time out," Robinson said. "This is just me seeing him; I haven't talked to him about it yet. But it seems like he feels a lot better than he did last year. He was trying to treat it like a game.

"He really didn't throw me anything straight. He wasn't pinpoint accuracy with everything, but he had an idea what he was doing with every pitch. It's just fine-tuning it."