Garcia gets to 5th inning in Cardinals loss
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LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) Jaime Garcia wanted to work on his pitches and get into the fifth inning.
Check, and check.
Garcia left with one out in the fifth Saturday and was charged with four runs and five hits in the St. Louis Cardinals' 10-3 loss to the Detroit Tigers.
"I am feeling pretty good right now," the left-hander said. "I just wanted to get to the fifth inning and I did, and physically I felt really good. It was good to get four innings in and to get to the fifth was really great."
Garcia, who went 13-7 with a 3.56 ERA last season, is part of a solid rotation for the defending World Series champions. Adam Wainwright is back after missing last season because of elbow surgery, and Chris Carpenter won the NL Cy Young Award in 2005.
Garcia cruised through the first three innings against the Tigers, then surrendered three runs in the fourth. He was on a pitch count, but he asked Cardinals manager Mike Matheny to try to get into the fifth.
"Hey, they can hit," Garcia said. "I wanted to work all my pitches. They have a lineup that can light you up if you make mistakes, so I am happy. I feel good where I am right now."
Garcia became the first Cardinals starter to make it to the fifth this spring. He allowed five hits, walked three and struck out two.
"He started out great," Matheny said. "The Tigers come out swinging. There are no holes in the Tigers lineup and he had his pitch count down, so I let him go."
Oliver, also a candidate for the back end of the rotation, hasn't allowed an earned run in nine innings. He has only seven major league starts, but has allowed only two hits all spring.
"He threw an outstanding breaking ball and has great composure," said manager Jim Leyland, who has hinted that the fifth starter he is looking for is already in Tigers camp. "There's a pressure cooker to find a fifth starter."
Oliver will start Wednesday in Lakeland against Minnesota.
Detroit outfielder Delmon Young raised his spring batting average to .519 with a homer and a double. Prince Fielder went 3 for 3 with a standup triple, and Ryan Raburn hit his fifth homer of the spring for the Tigers.
NOTES: Cardinals INF/OF Skip Schumaker remained in Jupiter to get a reading on his strained right oblique muscle. He was injured Friday when he fouled off a pitch against the Marlins. ... Carpenter (stiff neck) said he felt fine after a 30-pitch session on Friday, said he planned to throw again on Sunday. ... Wainwright will make his third start of the spring on Sunday against Miami. Carlos Zambrano will start for the Marlins. ... The Tigers optioned RHP Tyler Stohr to Double-A Erie and reassigned LHP Darin Downs to minor league camp. ... Leyland, who is looking for someone to round out his bullpen, praised RHP Luis Marte, RHP Jose Ortega, and RHP Brayan Villarreal. ... The Tigers improved their Grapefruit League record to 11-1-3, but Leyland said he only wants to get out of Florida with a .500 record. ... RHP Doug Fister will start for the Tigers on Sunday against the Nationals. Fister, who hasn't allowed a run in 10 innings this spring, will be followed by LHP Duane Below, LHP Daniel Schlereth, and RHP Jose Valverde. RHP Edwin Jackson will start for the Nationals.
Updated March 17, 2012