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Berkman homers as Cards beat Cubs 6-1

Berkman homers as Cards beat Cubs 6-1

June 3rd, 2011 in News

St. Louis Cardinals' Lance Berkman, center, is congratulated by teammates Albert Pujols, left, and Ryan Theriot after hitting a three-run home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs Friday, June 3, 2011, in St. Louis.

Photo by The Associated Press /News Tribune.

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Lance Berkman hit a three-run homer, Albert Pujols had a two-run shot and Jaime Garcia bounced back from the worst outing of his career to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 6-1 win over the Chicago Cubs on Friday night.

Garcia (6-1) allowed a run and four hits over eight innings, improving to 4-0 with a sparkling 0.46 ERA in five home starts this season. He struck out eight and walked one in his first game since he surrendered 11 earned runs in a 15-4 loss at Colorado on May 28.

Berkman snapped an 0-for-13 skid with his 12th homer, a drive to center on a 1-1 pitch from Ryan Dempster (4-5) in the first inning. It was Berkman's first homer since May 15 at Cincinnati.

Pujols pushed the lead to 6-1 in the fifth, connecting for his 10th homer of the season and No. 100 in new Busch Stadium. He has seven homers in 49 career at-bats against Dempster.

Chicago has lost four in a row and six of its last seven. The Cubs had won their last five games in St. Louis.

Garcia retired his first 13 batters on 46 pitches before walking Carlos Pena. Lou Montanez followed with a run-scoring double and advanced to third on an error by Berkman. But Garcia fanned Tyler Colvin and D.J. LeMahieu to end the threat.

Garcia lasted just 3 1/3 innings in the loss at Coors Field, but has allowed just two earned runs in 39 innings at home this year.

Yadier Molina had two hits and reached base three times for the Cardinals, who improved to 2-3 on their seven-game homestand. Berkman added a single in the fifth to complete a 2-for-4 performance. Ryan Theriot extended his career-best hitting streak to 17 games with a first-inning double.

Dempster gave up six runs and eight hits in five innings. He has surrendered a team-high 13 home runs.

NOTES: Pena has reached safely in 25 of his last 27 games. ... The Cardinals improved to 6-3 on Fridays. ... St. Louis OF Allen Craig, who flied out as a pinch hitter in the eighth, has 11 hits in his last 23 at-bats. ... LeMahieu singled in the eighth for his first major league hit.