Garcia helps Cardinals break home losing streak

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[July 02, 2016]  ST. LOUIS -- Jaime Garcia had nothing but praise for the Milwaukee Brewers' lineup after Friday night's game.

Yet the St. Louis Cardinals' left-hander shut down his favorite mark again.

Garcia, cruising through eight innings on 98 pitches, posted his career-best 11th win against Milwaukee to lead St. Louis to a 7-1 verdict at Busch Stadium.

Aside from Chris Carter's 20th homer, a 423-foot bolt over the center field wall to lead off the second, Garcia stifled the Brewers. He gave up only four hits and a run, walking four and fanning six in upping his record to 6-6.

Garcia has faced Milwaukee seven times in the last two years, allowing only nine runs in 50 1/3 innings.

"The past has nothing to do with the Brewers having a good offense," he said. "You look at that team and they have a good, deep lineup. I was just able to make good pitches when I needed to, and I kept us in the game."

More than that, Garcia also contributed to a five-run fourth with a bases-loaded RBI single off counterpart Matt Garza (1-1) as the Cardinals (41-38) snapped a 1-1 tie, taking advantage of a huge mistake by the Milwaukee pitcher.

With Jhonny Peralta at first after a one-out infield hit, Matt Adams slashed the first pitch at Garza, who knocked it down and had plenty of time to make a routine throw to first. But Garza's underhanded toss pulled Carter off the bag for an inexplicable error.

Yadier Molina lined the next pitch into center for a run-scoring single. Following a walk to Tommy Pham that filled the bases, Garcia and Matt Carpenter followed with RBI hits. Matt Holliday capped the rally with a two-out, two-run single up the middle for a 6-1 lead.

"He made a mistake there," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said of Garza. "But we had chances to get out of that inning. They just kind of nickel and dimed their way to five runs, really."

Holliday finished the scoring and Garza's night with a two-out RBI double over the head of center fielder Keon Braxton in the sixth. Garza worked 5 2/3 innings, allowing nine hits and seven runs -- four earned. He walked three and struck out six.

The Brewers (35-44), who are in the middle of a stretch where they are playing 26 of 28 games against winning teams, fell to 13-24 on the road. Only the Cincinnati Reds own a worse road mark in the National League at 11-27.

St. Louis snapped a seven-game, 26-day losing streak at home, dating back to June 5. It wasn't a flawless production as it committed two more errors, giving it eight in the last three games.

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Cardinals starting pitcher Jaime Garcia (54) pitches to a Milwaukee Brewers batter during the first inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

But it received several quality defensive plays from shortstop Aledmys Diaz, who returned to the lineup after missing the last three games when he fouled a pitch off his eye Monday night in Kansas City. Diaz tied a franchise rookie record with 11 assists and also went 2-for-5, starting the scoring with a first inning RBI double.

"He just continues to improve," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Diaz. "It's nice to talk about his defense in that vein instead of the other way around."

Holliday finished with three RBIs, his sixth game with three or more this season, while Carpenter and Molina each went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.

However, the main story was Garcia, who continued to treat Milwaukee's lineup as though it were a mosquito to be flicked off one's leg instead of the force that he says it is.

"I felt good physically and the defense did a great job behind me," Garcia summed up.

NOTES: St. Louis placed LHP Kevin Siegrist (mononucleosis) on the 15-day DL, retroactive toThursday, and recalled RHP Sam Tuivailala from Triple-A Memphis. Tuivailala was 2-1, 5.06 as the Redbirds' closer, notching 13 saves in 16 chances. ... Milwaukee named 2B Scooter Gennett and RHP Zack Davies as its Player and Pitcher of the Month for June, respectively. Gennett set a new career highThursday with his 23rd walk. ... Cardinals RF Stephen Piscotty (ankle) didn't start for the second straight game, but SS Aledmys Diaz (eye) returned to the lineup after a three-game absence.

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