Garcia Pitches Five, Tigers Top Cardinals

7 years 11 months 17 hours ago Saturday, March 17 2012 Mar 17, 2012 Saturday, March 17, 2012 5:20:04 PM CDT March 17, 2012 in Baseball
Source: Associated Press

LAKELAND, FL (AP) -- Jaime Garcia wanted to work on his pitches and get into the fifth inning. Check, and check.

Garcia left with one out in the fifth Saturday and was charged with four runs and five hits in the St. Louis Cardinals' 10-3 loss to the Detroit Tigers.

"I am feeling pretty good right now," the left-hander said. "I just wanted to get to the fifth inning and I did, and physically I felt really good. It was good to get four innings in and to get to the fifth was really great."

Garcia, who went 13-7 with a 3.56 ERA last season, is part of a solid rotation for the defending World Series champions. Adam Wainwright is back after missing last season because of elbow surgery, and Chris Carpenter won the NL Cy Young Award in 2005.

Garcia cruised through the first three innings against the Tigers, then surrendered three runs in the fourth. He was on a pitch count, but he asked Cardinals manager Mike Matheny to try to get into the fifth.

"Hey, they can hit," Garcia said. "I wanted to work all my pitches. They have a lineup that can light you up if you make mistakes, so I am happy. I feel good where I am right now."

Garcia became the first Cardinals starter to make it to the fifth this spring. He allowed five hits, walked three and struck out two.

"He started out great," Matheny said. "The Tigers come out swinging. There are no holes in the Tigers lineup and he had his pitch count down, so I let him go."

Adam Wilk, a long shot for the fifth spot in the Tigers' rotation, gave up three runs in three innings, but Andy Oliver threw two more scoreless innings for Detroit.

Oliver, also a candidate for the back end of the rotation, hasn't allowed an earned run in nine innings. He has only seven major league starts, but has allowed only two hits all spring.

"He threw an outstanding breaking ball and has great composure," said manager Jim Leyland, who has hinted that the fifth starter he is looking for is already in Tigers camp. "There's a pressure cooker to find a fifth starter."

Oliver will start Wednesday in Lakeland against Minnesota.

Detroit outfielder Delmon Young raised his spring batting average to .519 with a homer and a double. Prince Fielder went 3 for 3 with a standup triple, and Ryan Raburn hit his fifth homer of the spring for the Tigers.

 

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