By Steve Overbey
(ST. LOUIS, AP) — Jaime Garcia said all along there was no reason to panic.
Matt Holliday drove in three runs, Garcia threw eight solid innings and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-1 on Friday night.
The Cardinals ended a seven-game home losing streak, their longest since Aug. 2-15, 1983. It was their first home win since a 6-3 victory over San Francisco on June 5.
“We’re very confident in ourselves,” Garcia said. “We have the team, we have the talent. We weren’t worried. It’s a long season.”
Milwaukee has lost four of five and fell to 13-24 on the road, the second-worst road record in the National League behind the Cincinnati Reds.
Garcia (6-6) allowed four hits. He struck out six and walked four. He also beat Milwaukee 7-0 with a complete-game one-hitter on April 14.
“He was his typical self,” Milwaukee infielder Scooter Gennett said. “He’s a different type of pitcher. Everything he throws looks the same up there. It’s not overpowering, it’s not crazy movement going on. Everything starts in a general area and moves in a lot of different ways.”
Rookie shortstop Aledmys Diaz had two hits and reached base three times. He recorded 11 assists, the most by a St. Louis rookie since Stu Martin had 11 assists at second base on June 6, 1936.
Diaz missed the previous three games after fouling a pitch off the area around his right eye on Monday. The eye was still red, but the swelling had gone down, so he felt OK to play.
“With Jaime you’ve got to be ready, he’s a great sinkerball guy,” Diaz said. “I was ready to go.”
Garcia was appreciative of Diaz’s effort.
“He played pretty well behind me with one eye,” Garcia said.
Chris Carter hit his 20th homer of the season for the Brewers in the second inning.
Holliday highlighted a five-run outburst in the fourth with a two-run single. Yadier Molina, Garcia and Matt Carpenter also drove in runs in the inning.
Milwaukee starter Matt Garza (1-1) gave up seven runs, four earned, in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out six and walked four.
“I’m getting better every time out,” Garza said. “My stuff is getting crisper and I’m hitting my spots more often, throwing more strikes.”
Molina had two hits and sits at 1,499 for his career.
St. Louis manager Mike Matheny, like Garcia, remained calm during the home-field losing skid.
“We’ve won at home and we’ll win a lot more at home,” Matheny said. “Hopefully, now we can roll off quite a few in a row.”
FULL OF MOSS
St. Louis OF Brandon Moss led the major leagues with a .792 slugging percentage in June. He had eight home runs in the month and recorded at least one extra-base hit in 12 of 21 games.
Former St. Louis Blues wing David Backes was given a standing ovation when introduced midway through the game. Backes signed a 5-year, $30 million dollar free agent contract with the Boston Bruins earlier Friday.
Hall of Fame sportswriter Rick Hummel celebrated his 45th anniversary with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Friday.
The press box at Busch Stadium is named in Hummel’s honor.
Cardinals: LHP Kevin Siegrist has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with mononucleosis. RHP Sam Tuivailala will replace Siegrist on the roster. Tuivailala was 2-1 with a 5.06 ERA in 29 games at Triple-A Memphis and converted 13 of 16 save opportunities. Siegrist was 5-2 with 2.78 ERA in 35 appearances.
RHP Adam Wainwright (6-5, 5.04) will take on Milwaukee RHP Jimmy Nelson (5-6, 3.60) in the second game of the three-game set on Saturday. Wainwright is 12-8 against the Brewers with a 2.32 ERA. Nelson leads the Brewers with eight quality starts.