Willie Springer

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — Jaime Garcia and the Cardinals (34-25) got back to their winning ways with a 6-1 win over the Chicago Cubs (23-32) on a steamy Friday night at Busch Stadium after losing two straight.  Home runs from Lance Berkman and Albert Pujols was more than enough run support for Garcia as he handled a beleaguered Cubs lineup all night.

Garcia (6-1, 3.05), who was knocked around in his last start at Colorado, got an extra day of rest this week and that looked to be beneficial for the young hurler.  For a moment, Garcia look to be possibly flirting with perfection until Carlos Pena drew a walk in the second at-bat of the fifth inning.  Unfortunately, the bid for a no-hitter and a shutout ended in the next at-bat when Lou Montanez hit the right center gap for a RBI double.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

That one run was all the Cubs could manufacture on Friday night as Garcia continues to be dominant at Busch Stadium.  The run was just the second earned run allowed by Garcia in his fifth start at home.  After his 8.0 inning performance, Garcia now has a home ERA  of 0.46.

Garcia struck out 8, allowed the one run on 4 hits and a walk. He was happy the bounce back:

Manager Tony LaRussa, who very pleased with the win, shared some thoughts on Garcia’s start:

Cardinals’ hitters started the night well in the first inning.  Ryan Theriot instantly extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a lead off double.  Jon Jay sacrificed and Albert Pujols walked to set the table for Lance Berkman, who crushed a three-run shot into the right center field bleachers to give the home team an early 3-0 lead.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

For Berkman, the home runs was his 12th and he now has 39 RBI’s.  The home run was his first since May 15.

A wild pitch in the fourth inning from Ryan Dempster (4-5, 6.32) allowed the fourth run to score.  An inning later, Jon Jay led off with a single and then Pujols sweet stroked his 10th home run of the season and his 100th at Busch Stadium III to make the score 6-1.

Dempster would last 5.0 innings allowing 6 runs on 8 hits, 3 walks, and a wild pitch.  The loss snaps a two-game win streak for Dempster, who leads all of baseball with 52 earned runs.

NOTES…The heat was not too much for fans as 40,000-plus made their way inside Busch Stadium for the seventh time this season…Pitching prospect Shelby Miller made his Springfield AA debut on Friday and went 6.0 innings allowing one run on 7 hits and 2 walks while he struck out 5 and hit a double in the 3-1 win for the Cardinals…The broadcast for Saturday’s Charter Communications Pregame Show on KMOX 1120 AM will begin at 2:15pm.

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