(BaseballStL) -- There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home...for Jaime Garcia.
It isn’t a secret that Garcia has been brilliant when pitching at home throughout his career. Entering Monday, the lefty starter posted a 20-11 record with a 2.48 earned run average in his career at Busch Stadium.
The home-opener went no different for Garcia.
Garcia breezed through the first eight Cincinnati Reds batters faced while striking out four before allowing a walk to Mat Latos in the third inning. He also recorded his 400th career strikeout when he fanned Joey Votto in the first inning.
His cruise control hit a snag in the fourth inning when he allowed the first two batters to reach. With runners on first and third and no outs, Brandon Phillips grounded into a fielder’s choice to David Freese who was tagged out at home plate. The next batter, Jay Bruce, singled a run in to pull the Reds within a run of the lead.
Garcia settled back into his groove and sat down the Reds in order in the fifth inning while the Cardinals scored another run to pad their 3-1 lead.
A two-out solo home run from Phillips in the sixth inning pulled the Reds back within a run, but the Cardinals added another run in the bottom of the inning to maintain a two-run lead.
The seventh inning got dicey for Garcia, who matched a career-high ten strikeouts in the game, when he issued a one-out walk to Ryan Hanigan. Choo, who committed two errors in the game, singled with two outs before Chris Heisey hit a double past a diving Freese at third base to bring in a runner to pull the Reds back within a run for the third time.
That was the end for Garcia, who left the seventh inning with one out and runners on second and third base. Randy Choate came in relief to get the next batter, Votto, to ground out to second base.
“I thought Jaime was good -- pitched good enough to win and did a nice job taking us deep and getting us to the point where we wanted to be,” Mike Matheny said. “We had the lead and handed it over to the guys in the back end.”
Garcia hurled 6.2 innings while allowing six hits, three runs (all earned), three walks and ten strikeouts.
The Reds spoiled Garcia’s chance for the win after scoring one run in the eighth inning off of Trevor Rosenthal to tie it 4-4.
The Reds went on to score nine runs in the ninth inning to win 13-4.