Monday, June 09, 2014
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Cardinals cool off Blue Jays again

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[June 09, 2014]  By Chris Toman, The Sports Xchange
 
TORONTO -- For the second consecutive game, the red-hot Toronto Blue Jays proved to be no match for the slumping St. Louis Cardinals.

A day after right-hander Shelby Miller turned in a dominating three-hit shutout, lefty Jaime Garcia and two relievers kept the Blue Jays off the scoreboard once again.

Garcia threw seven scoreless innings while Matt Carpenter and Jhonny Peralta both went deep to power the Cardinals to a 5-0 series-clinching win over the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on Sunday.

"They stuck it to us pretty good the last couple of days," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "They pitched."

Garcia (2-0) allowed just three hits over a season-high 106 pitches and had his way with the potent Blue Jays lineup, which entered the day ranked first in the majors in homers and second in runs scored. The Blue Jays did not show any of that power potential over the last two games of the series and were shut out in back-to-back contests for the first time since Sept. 3-4, 2012 vs. the Baltimore Orioles.

After walking his first two batters of the season in the opening frame, Garcia regrouped to help the Cardinals (33-31) record their 13th shutout of the season and improve to 3-2 on their current seven-game road trip. The win marked the first time St. Louis has won consecutive games since May 24-25 and was just Toronto's fourth loss in its last 19 contests.

Garcia, who matched a season high by going seven innings, walked three and struck out four in front 45,726, the fifth sellout at Rogers Centre this season.

The southpaw kept the ball out of the air in the hitter-friendly park, recording 14 of his 21 outs on the ground.

"They've got one of the best lineups in the league and I knew it was going to be a tough challenge," Garcia said. "I was able to get them off balance a little bit and then tried to keep the ball down."

St. Louis did all its damage against Blue Jays right-hander Drew Hutchison, who was charged with five runs over three innings in the shortest non-injury start of his career. Hutchison (4-4), who allowed six hits, walked one and struck out one, had a personal three-game winning streak snapped.

"I did a bad job of controlling the situation," said Hutchison, who allowed five earned runs for the second time in three starts. "I fell behind some guys, hung some pitches, made mistakes and they got hit."

One big inning proved to the difference for Hutchison and the Blue Jays.

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Up 2-0 with two outs, Carpenter smacked his second homer of the season to cap off a four-run second inning by the Cardinals. The third baseman's two-hit game raised his average to .299 and helped St. Louis take two of three games from the Blue Jays after losing three consecutive series in a row. Toronto was undefeated in its previous seven series, the club's longest such streak since June 2000.

Peralta got in on the action an inning later, as the shortstop began the third by hitting a solo homer, his team-leading 10th of the season, to give the Cardinals a commanding 5-0 lead.

"Just a great win and great series against a team that couldn't be any hotter than they were when we rolled in here," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.

Blue Jays right-hander Todd Redmond took over for Hutchison in the fourth and went on to throw five scoreless innings of relief, punching out three batters along the way.

Jose Bautista drew a one-out walk in the eighth inning, the right fielder's major league-leading 50th of the season.

NOTES: Cardinals DH Matt Holliday was scratched from the lineup with lower back tightness. Yadier Molina served as the DH and batted third. ... Cardinals 2B Kolten Wong (left shoulder) missed his third consecutive game, but expects to return for Tuesday's contest against the Tampa Bay Rays. ... St. Louis 1B Matt Adams (calf strain) could begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Memphis as early as Monday. ... Blue Jays RHP Sergio Santos threw his second successful bullpen session of the week on Sunday and is set to begin a rehab assignment. ... Toronto manager John Gibbons turned 52 years old Sunday.

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