(Sports Network) - Jaime Garcia tries to continue his stellar rookie season this evening, when the St. Louis Cardinals play the finale of their three-game set with the Seattle Mariners at Busch Stadium.
Garcia ran his unbeaten streak to six games on Friday with a win over Arizona, which managed just a run and four hits in five innings against him. He did walk five batters, but still improved to 6-2 with a 1.49 earned run average, which is second-best in the league behind only Ubaldo Jimenez.
This will be his first interleague start.
Seattle will counter with lefty Jason Vargas, who is 4-2 with a 3.05 ERA. Vargas did not get a decision on Friday in San Diego, despite a solid outing that saw him surrender two runs and seven hits in six innings of a 4-3 loss.
Vargas has made two appearances (one start) against the Cardinals, going 0-1 with a 9.95 ERA.
In the second game of this set on Tuesday, Jeff Suppan didn't last long enough to win in his return to the Cardinals, but the right-hander navigated four effective frames. Colby Rasmus did the rest as St. Louis took its second straight from Seattle with a 4-2 victory.
Suppan, who was released by Milwaukee on June 7, gave up one run on four hits with four strikeouts and a pair of walks. He threw 73 pitches, but was replaced because of a long layoff from the mound. He was let go after posting a 7.84 earned run average in 15 appearances for the Brewers this season, then signed with the Cardinals, a team he won 16 games for in 2004 and 2005.
"I have to, whatever the situation is, separate myself from the emotions and make my pitches," Suppan said of his return. "The bottom line is I have to keep the team in the game."
Rasmus hit a two-run shot and Albert Pujols, one game after getting plunked in the ear-hole of his helmet by a Jose Lopez throw home in Monday's game, hit a solo home run for the Cardinals. Blake Hawksworth (1-3) pitched 1 2/3 scoreless frames for the victory, and Ryan Franklin nailed down his 12th save.
Milton Bradley and Ryan Langerhans hit solo home runs for the Mariners. Ryan Rowland-Smith (0-6) continued to struggle, giving up three runs on seven hits with one walk and one strikeout over four frames.
"I thought we worked the count, but we have to be able to drive those runs in," said Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu.
Ichiro Suzuki also extended his interleague hitting streak to 19 games, the longest such active streak in the majors.
St. Louis swept a three-game set from the Mariners the last time these teams squared off back in 2004.