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07/02/10 12:13 AM ET

Narveson, Garcia coming off different outings

One's coming off his worst start of the season, the other his best.

Milwaukee's Chris Narveson, 7-4 with a 5.17 ERA, went eight shutout innings and allowed just four hits and one walk Sunday in the Brewers' 3-0 win over the Mariners.

"Just mentally being prepared for them to play my game rather than seeing how they would react to my stuff," said Narveson after the win, describing how he changed his approach on the mound. "I wanted to put the pressure on them and try to command the strike zone so they were hitting my pitch, instead of falling behind and have to maybe come into their pitch."

Narveson will match up against St. Louis' Jaime Garcia, whose 7-4 record and 2.27 ERA are stronger, even if his last start was not. Garcia lasted just two innings against the Royals, letting up five runs on four hits and two walks. He had gone at least five innings in every previous start this season.

"It's just one of those days," Garcia said after the game. "It's going to happen. That's part of the game. You've got to find a way to go out there and keep battling. Find a way to keep it working. Your stuff isn't going to be there every day. So you've got to find a way to get it done, find a way to keep going and find a way to keep the team in the game."

Every run on Thursday night in the Brewers' 4-1 series-opening win came via the long ball: George Kottaras hit his sixth of the season, Casey McGehee his 13th, Prince Fielder his 18th and Albert Pujols his 19th. Both Fielder and Pujols have three home runs in as many games after turning in two-homer performances on Tuesday.

Pujols' home run Thursday was his 198th against an NL Central opponent, which broke a tie with Sammy Sosa for the all-time lead. Pujols has dominated his matchups with Narveson, going 3-for-6 with two homers, four walks and no strikeouts. Narveson doesn't have a decision in eight career appearances against the Cardinals, one of them a start. His ERA against St. Louis is 3.50 in 18 innings.

Garcia, a rookie, has never faced the Brewers, whom the Cardinals hold a slight edge over in the season series, 4-3.

Brewers: Hart continues hit streak
Corey Hart extended his hit streak to 16 games Thursday night with a 1-for-4 performance. That's the Brewers' longest hit streak this season.

Cardinals: Ludwick still day-to-day
Ryan Ludwick may need a few more days to recover from a sore right calf, which means the Cardinals are playing with a bench three men deep because the team is carrying 13 pitchers.

"I'm positive that, by the latest, Tuesday he'll be ready to play," manager Tony La Russa said Thursday. "Maybe this weekend."

Worth noting
The Brewers have a 21-17 record all-time playing in the new Busch Stadium, despite a 44-52 record when including the old stadium. The Brewers were helped by a 7-2 run in St. Louis last season. ... The Cardinals entered Thursday tied with the Yankees for the best record in the Majors when scoring first, 30-7.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.