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Jaime Garcia Takes On Former Cardinal Chris Narveson In Game Two Vs. Brewers

(Sports Network) - A pair of surprising 7-4 pitchers take the mound tonight when the St. Louis Cardinals host the Milwaukee Brewers in game two of a four- game series between National League Central Division rivals at Busch Stadium.

Thursday's opener, won 4-1 by the Brewers, dropped the second-place Cardinals 1 1/2 games off the pace of front-running Cincinnati and a game closer to the third-place visitors, who trail the Reds by 8 1/2 games.

Milwaukee's Randy Wolf allowed just one run in 6 1/3 solid innings and got a trio of home runs in support.

Wolf (6-7) gave up just four hits and a walk while fanning four for the Brewers, who have won eight of 11.George Kottaras drilled a two-run homer, while Prince Fielder and Casey McGehee each had a solo shot.

John Axford locked down his ninth save of the season.

Albert Pujols' homer provided the lone offense for the Cardinals, who have lost two in a row. Blake Hawksworth(2-5), making his third career start, gave up three runs in six innings on six hits and a walk while fanning seven.

St. Louis comes back tonight with 23-year-old lefty Jaime Garcia, who's made 15 starts this season after reaching the majors with 10 appearances -- one start -- for the Cardinals in 2009.

He earned his seventh victory of 2010 on June 22 at Toronto, scattering six hits and allowing three runs across six innings while striking out four and walking none.

A subsequent start resulted in a loss at Kansas City, dropping Garcia to 7-4 overall and raising his earned run average from 1.79 to 2.27.

The soon-to-be 24-year-old made his April debut against the Brewers and earned a win with six innings of four-hit ball in a 7-1 triumph. He faced them again on June 6 and allowed eight hits and two earned runs in six innings, getting a no-decision in a game Milwaukee won, 4-3.

Garcia is 2-1 in six home starts.

The Brewers reply with journeyman lefty Chris Narveson, who was drafted by the Cardinals in 2000 and actually reached the majors with them in 2006.

The 28-year-old Colorado native made five appearances -- including one start -- for St. Louis in its World Series championship year, posting a 4.82 ERA in 9 1/3 innings.

He resurfaced in the big leagues with Milwaukee in 2009 and was 2-0 in 21 appearances -- four starts -- before again beginning this season in the bullpen.

Narveson transitioned to starting with an April 28 assignment against Pittsburgh and has remained in the rotation since, winning six times in 11 subsequent outings, including consecutive interleague defeats of Minnesota and Seattle on June 22 and 27.

He went six innings for a no-decision against St. Louis on June 5, allowing five hits and four runs in a game the Cardinals won 5-4.

Narveson is 4-2 in 11 road appearances, six of those starts.

St. Louis has won four of seven matchups with Milwaukee this season after both teams split 18 meetings a year ago.