(Sports Network) – Third-year lefty Jaime Garcia becomes the latest St. Louis pitcher with a chance to keep the club in the playoff hunt when the Cardinals host the New York Mets in the middle contest of a three-game series at Busch Stadium.
Ryan Theriot and Adron Chambers came up big in pinch-hit situations in the seventh on Tuesday, as the streaking Cardinals scored six two-out runs in the frame to upend the Mets, 11-6.
Theriot doubled in a pair and Chambers hit a bases-loaded triple for St. Louis, which has won six of seven to stay in the NL wild card hunt. The front- running Atlanta Braves also won on Tuesday, keeping St. Louis 2 1/2 games behind.
Albert Pujols went 4-for-5 with two runs scored and another driven in, while Lance Berkman added two hits and two RBI to offset Edwin Jackson’s rough start.
Angel Pagan had three hits and an RBI to lead New York, which did St. Louis a favor over the weekend by taking two of three in Atlanta.
Garcia, a 25-year-old, debuted with the Cardinals in 2009 and made one start in 10 appearances, then became a full-time starter a year later while posting a 13-8 record in 28 outings.
He’s 12-7 in 30 starts so far in 2011, with wins No. 11 and 12 coming against Cincinnati and Atlanta, respectively, on Sept. 3 and 10.
He got a no-decision in the Cardinals’ 4-2 defeat of Philadelphia in his most recent assignment on Sept. 16 and St. Louis is 6-4 in his last 10.
Garcia has no decisions in two career starts against New York.
For the Mets, rookie Chris Schwinden makes the third start of his career.
He is winless in his first two, having lost to Atlanta and Washington while allowing 12 hits and six earned runs in 10 innings.
The 6-foot-3, 165-pounder, who’ll turn 25 on Thursday, has walked three batters and struck out seven.
He spent the early part of the 2011 season in Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Buffalo, going 8-8 in 28 appearances with a 3.87 earned run average in 148 2/3 innings.
These two clubs have split four meetings so far this year.