St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jaime Garcia celebrates the Cardinals' 2-0 victory over the San Diego Padres in of a baseball game Sunday, April 3, 2011, in St. Louis. Garcia threw a four-hitter. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) By Jeff Roberson
St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina watches his RBI single during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres on Sunday, April 3, 2011, in St. Louis. The Cardinals won 2-0. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) By Jeff Roberson
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Jaime Garcia threw a four-hitter with a career-best nine strikeouts, moving beyond a shaky spring as the St. Louis Cardinals avoided a season-opening sweep at home with a 2-0 victory over the San Diego Padres on Sunday.
Yadier Molina's RBI single up the middle off Dustin Moseley (0-1) in the fifth inning was the difference for St. Louis, which hasn't been swept by the Padres at home since 1980. Moseley allowed only four hits in seven strong innings for San Diego, which missed a chance to open 3-0 for only the fourth time in franchise history and the first time since the 1984 team that went on to win the NL pennant.
Garcia (1-0) walked two in his second career shutout and the majors' first this season, needing only 102 pitches in a game that lasted 2 hours, 3 minutes.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)