Aug 19, 2012, 5:00 PM EST
Jaime Garcia looked about as good as the Cards could have hoped for in his return from an eight-week stint on the disabled list Sunday at Busch Stadium.
The left-hander struck out a career-high 10 batters while allowing just two unearned runs and five hits over eight strong innings against the visiting Pirates.
Garcia threw 73 of his 107 pitches for strikes and didn’t walk a single batter, lowering his ERA (now 4.00) nearly a half-point from where it was on June 6 (4.48) when he first landed on the 15-day disabled list because of an impingement in his throwing shoulder.
Garcia is the first Cardinals left-hander to tally double-digit strikeouts in a game since Mark Mulder in May of 2005 and he’s the first to hit that mark without issuing a walk since Rick Ankiel in September 2000.
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