|St. Louis (30-22) «||0||1||0||3||3||5||0||0||x||12||16||1|
ST. LOUIS -- An hour-long rain delay was just what Jaime Garcia needed to refocus.
The St. Louis Cardinals knocked out Bronson Arroyo in the fifth inning and their rookie left-hander overcame a shaky start in a 12-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Monday, forging a first-place tie in the NL Central.
St. Louis Cardinals
"I think in the first inning, sometimes it's kind of like a shaky one for me because I'm learning," Garcia said. "After the delay I was able to stay focused, stay in the game mentally and physically."
Pujols extended his streak of reaching base to nine straight plate appearances with two intentional walks and a single his first three at-bats. He finally made an out in the fifth inning, hitting into a double play. Pujols added an RBI single in a five-run sixth, one day after hitting three homers at Chicago.
Matt Holliday's two-run double in the fourth was the go-ahead hit. He's 9 for 18 the last five games.
"You put together at-bats where even if you get behind you're still able to put the ball on the barrel, you start to feel like you can handle most of the pitches, it's a good feeling," Holliday said. "When Albert's hot, he's the best player ever."
Arroyo (5-3) had been 5-0 with a 2.66 ERA in his previous six outings.
Jonny Gomes' two-run single in the first ended a run of 19 scoreless innings at home to start the season by Garcia, a 23-year-old left-hander who began the year as the lone rookie in the rotation but now is one of three due to injuries. Garcia (5-2) benefited from an offense that mustered only six runs in his previous four starts. The Cardinals had a season-high for runs and hits (16) while improving to 16-8 at home.
"Well, let me see, we've got Johnny Cueto tomorrow and he's really good, so I'd be a fool to say that we're really hot because good pitching shuts you down," manager Tony La Russa said. "I'll tell you, Cincinnati is a legitimate club."
Arroyo coughed up a 3-1 lead and failed to last six innings for only the second time. He threw a complete game to beat the Cardinals on May 16 in Cincinnati, but didn't blame the delay after giving up season highs for walks (five) and hits (10).
"I felt good coming back," Arroyo said. "It didn't affect me. I didn't have the greatest command the whole day."
Arroyo retired the first two hitters in the fourth before walking Garcia, and the next four Cardinals reached base in a three-run rally for a 4-3 lead. Felipe Lopez's two-run double in the fifth made it 7-3 and chased Arroyo.
"Walks," manager Dusty Baker said. "Way too many walks."
The Reds had won four of their previous five and were in first place alone for five straight days, a season high. Cincinnati starters had been 10-0 with a 2.55 in the previous 16 games, the longest winning streak for the staff since 1985.
Garcia allowed only an unearned run on four hits the next five innings, and singled twice, walked and scored twice, doubling his season hit total after a 2-for-18 start. Garcia is 2-0 in his last four starts, both wins over the Reds, and leads NL rookies in victories and strikeouts (51) while holding left-handed hitters to a .103 average (4 for 39).
|Lefty Jaime Garcia earns the victory Monday and leads NL rookies in wins (5) and strikeouts (51). (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Orlando Cabrera, SS||5||0||1||1||0||1||2||.269|
|Miguel Cairo, 1B-3B||5||0||1||0||0||0||1||.295|
|Brandon Phillips, 2B||4||1||2||0||0||0||0||.282|
|a- Laynce Nix, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.231|
|Scott Rolen, 3B||4||1||2||0||0||1||2||.280|
|Danny Herrera, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jonny Gomes, LF||3||0||1||2||1||0||2||.304|
|Jay Bruce, RF||4||0||0||0||0||1||4||.267|
|Drew Stubbs, CF||3||2||1||0||1||1||0||.237|
|Ramon Hernandez, C-1B||3||0||0||1||1||1||1||.298|
|Bronson Arroyo, P||2||0||1||0||0||1||1||.167|
|Carlos Fisher, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.000|
|Mike Lincoln, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Corky Miller, PH-C||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-flied out for B. Phillips in the 9th|
|b-flied out for Lincoln in the 8th|
|3B - Drew Stubbs (4, Miller)|
|RBI - Orlando Cabrera (24), Jonny Gomes 2 (34), Ramon Hernandez (13)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jonny Gomes 2 (16)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Rolen-B. Phillips-Cairo, Rolen-B. Phillips-Cairo|
|E - Drew Stubbs (2, Misplayed grounder)|
|Bronson Arroyo (L,5-3)||4.1||10||7||7||5||1||0||4.92|
|IBB - Pujols by Bronson Arroyo, by Pujols|
|WP - Carlos Fisher (2)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Bronson Arroyo 103-55, Carlos Fisher 33-16, Mike Lincoln 35-20, Danny Herrera 10-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bronson Arroyo 7-5, Carlos Fisher 2-0, Mike Lincoln 1-3, Danny Herrera 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Bronson Arroyo 28, Carlos Fisher 7, Mike Lincoln 10, Danny Herrera 3|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Felipe Lopez, SS||4||1||2||2||1||1||1||.278|
|Brendan Ryan, SS||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.197|
|Ryan Ludwick, RF||4||1||2||2||1||0||0||.291|
|Mitchell Boggs, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Albert Pujols, 1B||3||0||2||1||2||0||1||.316|
|Allen Craig, 1B-RF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.053|
|Matt Holliday, LF||4||0||1||2||1||0||4||.306|
|Trever Miller, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jason LaRue, C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.167|
|David Freese, 3B||5||1||2||0||0||0||4||.318|
|Colby Rasmus, CF||4||3||2||1||1||0||3||.268|
|Yadier Molina, C-1B||4||1||1||0||1||0||1||.258|
|Skip Schumaker, 2B||2||2||1||2||2||0||0||.243|
|Jaime Garcia, P||2||2||2||0||1||0||0||.200|
|a- Jon Jay, PH||1||1||1||2||0||0||0||.263|
|Blake Hawksworth, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Nick Stavinoha, PH-LF||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.295|
|a-doubled for Garcia in the 6th|
|b-grounded into a double play for Hawksworth in the 7th|
|2B - Felipe Lopez (5, Arroyo), Ryan Ludwick (14, Arroyo), Matt Holliday (15, Arroyo), David Freese (11, Fisher), Colby Rasmus (11, Arroyo), Jon Jay (3, Lincoln)|
|SF - Ryan Ludwick (1), Skip Schumaker (2)|
|RBI - Felipe Lopez 2 (12), Ryan Ludwick 2 (26), Albert Pujols (39), Matt Holliday 2 (22), Colby Rasmus (21), Skip Schumaker 2 (12), Jon Jay 2 (2)|
|2-OUT RBI - Ryan Ludwick (9), Albert Pujols (21), Matt Holliday 2 (13)|
|Team LOB - 12|
|DP - Freese-Pujols|
|E - David Freese (7, Throwing)|
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|Jaime Garcia (W,5-2)||6||7||3||2||3||6||0||1.32|
|IBB - Gomes by Jaime Garcia|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jaime Garcia 97-64, Blake Hawksworth 11-7, Trever Miller 16-13, Mitchell Boggs 13-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jaime Garcia 8-4, Blake Hawksworth 3-0, Trever Miller 1-1, Mitchell Boggs 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Jaime Garcia 28, Blake Hawksworth 4, Trever Miller 4, Mitchell Boggs 3|
|Attendance - 40782|
|Game Time - 3:02|
|Temperature - 86|
|Umpires - Home - Scott Barry, First Base - Chris Guccione, Second Base - Jerry Crawford, Third Base - Brian O'Nora|