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Jaime Garcia's Near-Perfect Game Paces St. Louis Cardinals Vs. Brewers

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.