AP Sports Writer

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Jaime Garcia carried a shutout into the eighth
inning and Yadier Molina got his 1,000th career hit with an infield
single that started a three-run second against rookie Matt Harvey
in the St. Louis Cardinals’ 5-1 victory over the New York Mets on
Tuesday night.

Daniel Descalso and David Freese had two hits and an RBI apiece
for the Cardinals, who are 42-26 at home for the second-best mark
in the National League. St. Louis will go for a three-game sweep
Wednesday with Adam Wainwright facing 17-game winner R.A. Dickey.

Descalso also stole third in the sixth, putting him in position
to score on John Jay’s groundout against Justin Hampson that made
it 4-0.

Pinch-hitter Mike Baxter hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly off
Lance Lynn in the eighth. Left fielder Adron Chambers, who ran for
Matt Holliday in the seventh, caught Daniel Murphy’s drive at the
left-field wall to end the threat and then bounced into the fence
in front of the visitors’ bullpen.

Holliday left the game with lower back tightness after walking
to start the seventh. The Cardinals said Holliday, among the league
leaders with 92 RBIs, was day to day.

Garcia (4-6) gave up an unearned run in 7 1-3 innings for his
first victory in five decisions since May 16 and first in four
starts since coming off the disabled list. He was sidelined for 64
games by a shoulder strain.

In two home starts since then he’s allowed one run in 15 1-3
innings while going 0-2 on the road and giving up 10 runs in 11 1-3
innings. Garcia is 2-2 at home with a 2.63 ERA this year and 2-4
with a 5.80 ERA on the road.

Molina got a prolonged ovation after barely beating David
Wright’s throw on a slow roller up the third base line for his
milestone hit. The Cardinals added three more singles by Freese,
Skip Schumaker and Descalso to open the inning.

That was the only spot of trouble for Harvey, the Mets’ 2010
first-round draft pick, whose five-inning stint matched the
shortest of his eight career starts. Harvey’s string of four
consecutive quality starts was the Mets’ best in a single season by
a rookie since Jae Seo had six straight in 2003.

Harvey (3-4) has thrown 157 1-3 innings this season, including
110 for Triple-A Buffalo, and the Mets don’t want to overload the
24-year-old right-hander. They have scored only 16 runs while
Harvey was in the game.

NOTES: Garcia had three sacrifice bunts after entering the game
with one in his first 14 starts. … Retired Missouri basketball
coach Norm Stewart and Rams middle linebacker James Laurinaitis
threw out first pitches. Laurinaitis left shortly after his
appearance to study film for Sunday’s opener at Detroit. … RHP
Jeurys Familia, among the Mets’ call-ups, worked a scoreless eighth
in his major league debut.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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