Berkman homers as Cards beat Cubs 6-1

Jaime Garcia bounced back from a career-worst performance by

forgetting all about it.

Garcia pitched eight innings in another crisp effort at home,

and the St. Louis Cardinals got home runs from Lance Berkman and

Albert Pujols in a 6-1 win over the Chicago Cubs on Friday

night.

Garcia (6-1) allowed a run and four hits while improving to 4-0

with a sparkling 0.46 ERA in five home starts this season. He

struck out eight and walked one in his first game since he

surrendered 11 earned runs in a 15-4 loss at Colorado last

Saturday.

”As soon as I was done pitching, I forgot about it and started

to move forward,” Garcia said of his 10-out outing at Coors Field.

”I never really doubted myself. I know I have the stuff.”

Berkman snapped an 0-for-13 skid with his 12th homer, a drive to

center on a 1-1 pitch from Ryan Dempster (4-5) in the first inning.

It was Berkman’s first homer since May 15 at Cincinnati and

provided Garcia with all the support he would need.

”A three-run homer in the first against a real good pitcher,

that puts your team in a hole,” Dempster said. ”I just didn’t

execute a fastball in and I paid for it.”

Berkman, like Garcia, quickly forgot about the past few

games.

”It was good to finally come out and get some hits,” Berkman

said. ”I kind of had a few rough games. This was a good night all

around.”

Garcia retired his first 13 batters on 46 pitches before walking

Carlos Pena. Lou Montanez followed with a run-scoring double and

advanced to third on an error by right fielder Berkman. But Garcia

fanned Tyler Colvin and D.J. LeMahieu to end the threat.

Garcia has allowed just two earned runs in 39 innings at home

this year.

”He’s put together a real good year,” Chicago manager Mike

Quade said. ”He threw strikes and changed speeds. He’s a good

looking left-hander.”

Ryan Theriot got the first inning started with a double that

extended his career-best hitting streak to 17 games, the longest

current run in the majors. Pujols drew a walk to set the stage for

Berkman’s home run.

Pujols pushed the lead to 6-1 in the fifth, connecting for his

10th homer of the season and No. 100 in new Busch Stadium. He has

seven homers in 49 career at-bats against Dempster.

Chicago has lost four in a row and six of seven. The Cubs had

won their last five games in St. Louis.

Yadier Molina had two hits and reached base three times for the

Cardinals, who improved to 2-3 on their seven-game homestand.

Berkman added a single in the fifth to complete a 2-for-4

performance.

Dempster gave up six runs and eight hits in five innings. He has

surrendered a team-high 13 home runs.

”They did a good job of grinding out a lot of at-bats,”

Dempster said. ”I made a couple to mistakes to some pretty good

hitters and they made me pay.”

NOTES: Pena has reached safely in 25 of his last 27 games. …

The Cardinals improved to 6-3 on Fridays. … St. Louis OF Allen

Craig, who flied out as a pinch hitter in the eighth, has 11 hits

in his last 23 at-bats. … LeMahieu singled in the eighth for his

first major league hit. … Colvin is mired in an 0-for-18

slump.