Jaime Garcia was perfect into the eighth inning and the St. Louis Cardinals scored early and often to take the first of their three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers. Garcia struck out eight and picked up 16 swinging strikes against a Brewers team that simply couldn’t see his changeup or slider all night. Colby Rasmus tripled and Albert Pujols drove in three to put the final score at 6-0.
Garcia yielded his first baserunner of the night in the eighth inning, when Casey McGehee drew a walk, and the no-hitter was broken up a batter later when Yuniesky Betancourt slapped one through the infield for an uncontested base hit. But Garcia, after falling behind the next batter, forced a full count and then induced a ground-ball double play to end the inning. By the time the ninth inning rolled around Garcia was as dominant as ever. He improves to 4-0 on the season, with an ERA of just 1.99.
The two-hitter is Garcia’s second complete-game shutout of the season; he threw a four-hitter with nine strikeouts in his first start of 2011.