Pitcher Garcia strong in Cardinals' 4-1 win

Sat Sep 5, 2015 11:08pm EDT
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(The Sports Xchange) - Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia lifted St. Louis to a 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates after seven shutout innings to restore the Cardinals' National League Central lead to 6-1/2 games.

Garcia (8-4) gave up four hits, three to right fielder Sean Rodriguez, and walked one while striking out a season-high nine.

"I felt pretty good the whole game," Garcia said after lowering his ERA to 1.89. "I don't look for strikeouts, I look for quick outs. I threw more pitches than I usually do."

Garcia threw 108 pitches, three shy of his career high, before leaving for a pinch-hitter in the seventh.

Rodriguez was the only Pirate who solved Garcia, singling twice and doubling. The rest of his teammates managed just one hit, a broken-bat single in the first by Andrew McCutchen.

"He cuts the plate in half," Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter said of Garcia.

"That's why you see some of the swings and misses you see against him, even from (former) MVPs like Andrew McCutchen. When he's healthy, Jaime is one of the top pitchers in the league."

Pittsburgh starter Charlie Morton (8-7) pitched six innings, allowing four hits and two runs (one earned). He walked three and struck out three.

Morton put himself in trouble in the bottom of the second inning, though, filling the bases on two walks and a hit batter.   Continued...

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jaime Garcia (54) celebrates getting Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Josh Harrison (not pictured) to ground into a force out to end the seventh inning at Busch Stadium.  Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports