Cards' Garcia will try to keep Angels offense in hibernation mode
In a matchup of struggling lineups, the St. Louis Cardinals woke up while the Los Angeles Angels remained in hibernation mode.
Jaime Garcia looks to continue one of those trends Wednesday night when the left-hander tries to lift the visiting Cardinals to their sixth win in the last nine games of this series.
St. Louis (17-16) opened the season hot offensively but was up and down before Tuesday's 8-1 win. The Cardinals averaged only 3.67 runs their previous six games, but Matt Carpenter homered twice and Matt Holliday and Randal Grichuk also went deep.
St. Louis improved to 8-6 on the road while opening a six-game trip in Los Angeles. The Cardinals visit the Dodgers for three games this weekend.
Garcia (2-2, 3.05 ERA) tossed another gem in Thursday's 4-0 win over Philadelphia, holding the Phillies to two singles over seven innings. It was the second time this season he has held a team scoreless on two or fewer hits over at least seven innings.
"I think it felt similar to what I've been doing," Garcia told MLB's official website. "Just (Thursday), I was able to get good plays made behind me, and I was able to get calls and make pitches when I needed to make pitches. I just have to continue to build on that."
Garcia hasn't faced the Angels, and Geovany Soto is the only hitter with double-digit at-bats against him. Soto is 3 for 10 with an RBI and two walks in the matchup.
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Los Angeles (13-19) has dropped a season-high four straight games and is 2-8 in its last 10. The Angels have scored six runs during their skid and averaged 3.5 over their last 10 games.
While scoring runs has been a major issue, Los Angeles might be more concerned with the health issues in its rotation.
Four Angels starters have landed on the disabled list, giving Matt Shoemaker another shot to take the ball. The right-hander struggled in April but has been called up from Triple-A Salt Lake, for which he threw six innings of one-run ball Friday.
Shoemaker was demoted after posting a 9.15 ERA in five April starts.
The Angels learned Monday that shortstop Andrelton Simmons would need surgery on his left thumb and will likely miss two months. The next day they made a trade with Washington to acquire Brendan Ryan, who was playing with the Nationals' Triple-A affiliate and is a Los Angeles native.
Ryan, a .234 lifetime hitter with St. Louis, Seattle and New York, made his Angels debut in the ninth inning Tuesday.
"Humbling," Ryan told MLB's official website. "I don't know. I'm certainly thinking about how lucky and blessed I am at the moment to not only be back in the big leagues, but to be home. I just feel very blessed."
Ryan is set to split time at shortstop with Cliff Pennington, who is hitting .182.