Hurler Jaime Garcia shines as Cardinals blank Blue Jays in series finale

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Toronto, ON, Canada (4E Sports) – Jaime Garcia tossed seven scoreless frames to lift the St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays in the deciding game of a three-game series Sunday at Rogers Centre.

Garcia (2-0) gave up three hits with three walks and four strikeouts as the Cardinals (33-31) halted a string of four consecutive winless series after winning back-to-back games for the first time since a May 20-22 sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Matt Carpenter hit a two-run shot, Jhonny Peralta smacked a solo shot while Peter Bourjos and Tony Cruz knocked in a run apiece to back up Garcia, who delivered his most dominant of his five starts since returning from a shoulder injury.

After throwing a season-high 106 pitches, Garcia handed the shutout to the bullpen. Pat Neshek and Trevor Rosenthal preserved it, giving the Cardinals a Major League-most 12 this season.

Drew Hutchison (4-4) absorbed the loss after allowing five runs with a walk and a strikeout over three innings as the Blue Jays (38-26) suffered back-to-back weekend shutouts after being held scoreless just once previously this season.

The loss ended the Blue Jays’ streak of series wins at seven, their longest since 2000 when the club also had a run of seven. Toronto hadn’t lost a series since May 9-12 against the Angels.

In the second frame, Bourjos delivered an RBI sacrifice fly and Cruz knocked in a run-scoring double for a 2-0 lead before Carpenter delivered a two-run shot for his second long ball of the year.

An inning later, Peralta teed off on a 1-0 slider for his team-best 10th homer of the season for a 5-0 advantage.

The Blue Jays’ best scoring opportunity came in the fifth inning, when Jose Reyes and Melky Cabrera reached base with two outs. Jose Bautista then stepped in and took a pair of borderline strikes on the inside part of the plate.

Bautista took issue with the calls by home-plate umpire Manny Gonzalez before Garcia fanned him with an 83-mph offspeed pitch to end the threat.

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