Rookie lefty Jaime Garcia wasn't even in the Cardinals organization in 2004, when the Redbirds last enjoyed a winning streak of eight games.
But Garcia was front and center Wednesday night, fashioning a gem against the Phillies that allowed St. Louis to pick up its eighth consecutive win, its first such streak in six years. The southpaw tossed seven frames of one-run ball, fanning six, and Matt Holliday snapped a seventh-inning tie with a solo blast, his 18th home run this season. The Cards, yet to lose in the second half, extended their National League Central lead to 1 1/2 games over the second-place Reds, who lost to the Nationals and phenom Stephen Strasburg.
The Dodgers and Tigers, a pair of teams previously headed in the opposite direction of the Cardinals, snapped lengthy skids on the strength of dominant performances by hard-throwing right-handers. In Los Angeles, Chad Billingsley shut out the rival Giants to snap the Dodgers' six-game slide. In Detroit, Max Scherzer turned in seven shutout innings against the potent Rangers as the Tigers halted their losing streak at seven games.
In Atlanta, a pair of division leaders needed extra frames to settle a tightly contested affair. The NL West-leading Padres topped the Braves, the leaders of the NL East, in 12 innings. Pinch-hitter Nick Hundley snapped the tie with a two-run double after the Padres mounted a two-run rally against Braves closer Billy Wagner in the ninth to force extra innings. With the Padres' win and Giants' loss, San Diego extended its division lead to four games.
Youth reigned supreme in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, where Strasburg and Pedro Alvarez powered the Nats and Bucs to victories, respectively. Strasburg, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, fanned seven Reds in 5 2/3 frames en route to his fifth win since making his big league debut on June 8. Alvarez, the No. 2 pick in '08, muscled up for his second consecutive two-homer night as the Pirates drubbed the Brewers.
Cardinals 5, Phillies 1
Jaime Garcia struck out six over seven strong innings and Matt Holliday hit a tiebreaking homer in the seventh inning as the Cardinals won their eighth straight. Wrap >
Padres 6, Braves 4, 12 innings
The final position player on the bench for the Padres, Nick Hundley, provided the game-winning two-run double in the 12th as San Diego reclaimed the best record in the National League from Atlanta. Wrap >
Dodgers 2, Giants 0
Chad Billingsley delivered his second career shutout, outdueling Giants lefty Barry Zito and giving the Dodgers their first win since the All-Star break. Casey Blake homered and drove in both Los Angeles runs. Wrap >
Rangers 1, Tigers 4
Max Scherzer threw seven scoreless innings and ex-Ranger Gerald Laird homered as the Tigers ended a seven-game skid. Wrap >
Mariners 2, White Sox 1, 11 innings
Franklin Gutierrez delivered a two-run single in the bottom of the 11th inning. Wrap >
D-backs 4, Mets 3, 14 innings
Pinch-hitter Chris Snyder stroked a walk-off single in the 14th to hand Arizona a three-game sweep. Wrap >
Nationals 8, Reds 5
Stephen Strasburg earned his fifth victory, backed by Cristian Guzman's two-run homer and two-run singles from Ian Desmond and Nyjer Morgan. Wrap >
Pirates 15, Brewers 3
Delwyn Young's three-run homer highlighted a huge six-run fourth and Pedro Alvarez homered twice for the second straight game. Wrap >
Yankees 10, Angels 6
Colin Curtis' three-run homer -- his first as a Major Leaguer -- came only after Brett Gardner was ejected in the middle of his at-bat. Wrap >
Rays 5, Orioles 4
Evan Longoria homered in the first inning and the Rays put up four early runs, but after the O's tied the game in the fifth, Longoria drew a bases-loaded walk in the sixth, which proved to be the winning run. Wrap >
Marlins 5, Rockies 2
The Marlins scored five runs over the first two innings and that was more than Ricky Nolasco needed. The right-hander struck out eight over eight innings. Wrap >
Twins 6, Indians 0
Francisco Liriano struck out eight over seven scoreless innings for his eighth win, ending the Indians' six-game winning streak. Wrap >
A's 6, Red Sox 4
Matt Watson hit his first career homer and Jack Cust added a two-run shot, helping the A's take the series from Boston. Wrap >
Royals 5, Blue Jays 2
Zack Greinke looked like his old self against the Jays, striking out nine in eight sharp innings. Wrap >
Astros 4, Cubs 3, 12 innings
Brett Myers and Ted Lilly turned in strong starting performances, setting up what became a 12-inning grinder ultimately won by the Astros after Jason Michaels put them in front to stay with a two-run, two-out double. Wrap >
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.