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St. Louis at Milwaukee

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St. Louis (4-1) «040021000780
Milwaukee (2-3)000001000141

Cardinals jump all over Gallardo, cruise past Brewers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MILWAUKEE -- Yovani Gallardo signed a contract extension with the Milwaukee Brewers earlier in the week. The St. Louis Cardinals were the ones cashing in Saturday.

And at least for an afternoon, it was the Cardinals' Jaime Garcia who looked like the up-and-coming ace.

Yadier Molina hit a three-run homer and Gallardo struggled two days after getting a big raise from the Brewers, giving up six runs in five innings in the Cardinals' 7-1 victory.

"I didn't feel any extra pressure," Gallardo said. "I mean, I felt pretty good out there. I had all my pitches and was throwing them for strikes. Just that one pitch [to Molina] turns the whole ballgame around."

Maybe the new contract -- a $30.1 million, five-year deal that could be worth $42.5 million over six seasons -- didn't get to Gallardo (0-2). But the Cardinals sure did, with Albert Pujols also hitting a two-run single.

Now St. Louis will go for a three-game sweep of their NL Central rivals Sunday night, with Chris Carpenter facing Milwaukee's big offseason addition, Randy Wolf.

"It's very important to win the series and tomorrow we have a chance to sweep them," Molina said. "We have Carp on the mound and everybody knows Carp, he's a great pitcher."

But not everybody knows Garcia (1-0), who was sharp in his debut as the Cardinals' No. 5 starter, giving up a run and four hits in six innings.

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said Garcia got some help from Molina, his catcher.

"They are one of the better teams against left-hand pitching and he was outstanding against them," La Russa said. "He made a lot of good pitches. He came out of his delivery once in a great while. 'Yaddy' tweaked him and got back in it."

Brewers sluggers Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder went a combined 0-for-8, including three strikeouts by Fielder.

Why was Garcia so effective?

"I don't know," Fielder said. "He just got us out. I mean, he wasn't anything different than what everybody else throws. We just didn't get the job done."

It was the second career start for Garcia, who was limited to a handful of minor league outings last season after having Tommy John surgery in September 2008. Garcia earned the Cardinals' No. 5 spot in spring training.

"People ask me about nerves and [pitching my] first game in a while," Garcia said. "But really when I go out there, it's, 'Just don't try to do too much. Keep it simple."'

He held the Brewers scoreless with only two hits through the first five innings, then gave up a double to Casey McGehee and RBI single to Corey Hart in the sixth.

"If he was nervous, it didn't show," Molina said. "I'm pretty sure he was, but seeing him calm like that and the way he was today, that was impressive."

Brewers manager Ken Macha didn't think Gallardo threw the ball poorly, but the manager acknowledged that the talented 24-year-old tends to get "into a little bit of a rut" during games.

"It's something we're going to have to look at," Macha said.

Gallardo was roughed up in the second and fifth innings, retiring 10 straight batters in between. La Russa considered Saturday's outing an anomaly.

"You are not going to make a living scoring a lot of runs off of him," La Russa said.

After forcing three quick groundouts in the first inning, Gallardo got into trouble right away in the second.

He allowed a single to Matt Holliday and walked Colby Rasmus. Holliday scored on a single by Ryan Ludwick, and Rasmus went to third base on a wide throw home that resulted in an error on Braun.

Molina -- who hit a grand slam on opening day, the first of his career -- then hit his second home run of the season, putting a 1-0 fastball into the left field stands for a 4-0 Cardinals lead.

Gallardo settled down before struggling with his control again in the fifth.

Gallardo walked Garcia, then Skip Schumaker lined a ball into left field -- and seemed to surprise Braun by streaking to second base as the left fielder threw to third. Gallardo struck out Felipe Lopez, but Pujols singled sharply to score Garcia and Schumaker and give the Cardinals a 6-0 lead.

Claudio Vargas replaced Gallardo to start the sixth, and Rasmus smacked Vargas' first pitch into the second deck in right field.

Notes
  • Hart, formerly the Brewers' regular right fielder, started his second game of the season and had two hits. Veteran Jim Edmonds has started the other three.
  • Garcia's first major league start came July 20, 2008, against San Diego.
  • Brewers CF Carlos Gomez fouled a ball off his foot in the third inning but remained in the game.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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The sweet swing of Albert Pujols produces a single in the fifth that drives in two runs. (AP)
The sweet swing of Albert Pujols produces a single in the fifth that drives in two runs. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

Y. Molina
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
St. Louis

J. Garcia
IP 6.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 3
K 5
 
St. Louis Cardinals
Skip Schumaker, 2B4110010 .273
   a- Joe Mather, PH1010000 .333
    Jason Motte, P0000000 .000
Felipe Lopez, SS-2B5000013 .091
Albert Pujols, 1B4012010 .316
Matt Holliday, LF4120011 .476
Colby Rasmus, CF3211121 .385
Ryan Ludwick, RF4111011 .167
Yadier Molina, C4113011 .267
David Freese, 3B3000110 .214
Jaime Garcia, P2100101 .000
    Mitchell Boggs, P0000000 .000
   b- Nick Stavinoha, PH1000000 .500
    Brendan Ryan, SS0000000 .067
Totals3578739  
a-singled for Schumaker in the 9th
b-flied out for Boggs in the 9th
Batting
2B - Skip Schumaker (2, Gallardo)
HR - Colby Rasmus (2, Vargas), Yadier Molina (2, Gallardo)
RBI - Albert Pujols 2 (6), Colby Rasmus (3), Ryan Ludwick (2), Yadier Molina 3 (7)
2-OUT RBI - Albert Pujols 2 (3)
Team LOB - 4
St. Louis Cardinals
Jaime Garcia (W,1-0) 6411350 1.50
Mitchell Boggs 2000110 0.00
Jason Motte 1000010 10.80
Pitches-Strikes - Jaime Garcia 95-58, Mitchell Boggs 21-14, Jason Motte 13-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jaime Garcia 10-3, Mitchell Boggs 2-3, Jason Motte 2-0
Batters Faced - Jaime Garcia 25, Mitchell Boggs 7, Jason Motte 3
Milwaukee Brewers
Rickie Weeks, 2B3010101 .313
Carlos Gomez, CF4000016 .238
Ryan Braun, LF4000000 .333
Prince Fielder, 1B4000030 .278
Casey McGehee, 3B4110000 .333
Corey Hart, RF4021020 .286
Gregg Zaun, C3000101 .000
Alcides Escobar, SS3000101 .235
Yovani Gallardo, P1000011 .000
   a- Jody Gerut, PH1000000 .500
    Claudio Vargas, P0000000 .000
    Carlos Villanueva, P0000000 .000
   b- Craig Counsell, PH0000100 .167
    Manny Parra, P0000000 .000
Totals3114147  
a-grounded out for Gallardo in the 5th
b-walked for Villanueva in the 7th
Batting
2B - Casey McGehee (1, Garcia)
RBI - Corey Hart (1)
2-OUT RBI - Corey Hart (1)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
E - Ryan Braun (1, Throwing)
Milwaukee Brewers
Yovani Gallardo (L,0-2) 5566251 6.75
Claudio Vargas 1111111 9.00
Carlos Villanueva 1000020 0.00
Manny Parra 2200010 0.00
WP - Manny Parra (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Yovani Gallardo 87-48, Claudio Vargas 14-8, Carlos Villanueva 16-10, Manny Parra 29-19
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Yovani Gallardo 6-4, Claudio Vargas 1-1, Carlos Villanueva 1-0, Manny Parra 4-1
Batters Faced - Yovani Gallardo 22, Claudio Vargas 5, Carlos Villanueva 3, Manny Parra 8
Game Information
Attendance - 42039
Game Time - 2:41
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Larry Vanover, First Base - Mark Carlson, Second Base - Jeff Nelson, Third Base - Jeff Kellogg