- Associated Press - Saturday, June 21, 2014

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Jaime Garcia was at a loss for words.

The St. Louis left-hander sailed through the first four innings before a meltdown in the fifth and sixth proved to the difference in the Cardinals’ 5-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night.

Garcia allowed just two hits on 66 pitches in the first four frames.

The Phillies then scored two runs in the fifth, and Marlon Byrd began the sixth with a home run. Domonic Brown followed with a double to end Garcia’s once-promising night.

“I just wasn’t able to execute my pitches,” he said. “I don’t know, I’m trying to figure it out.”

Garcia had retired 10 of 11 hitters to close out the fourth, and then he hit a wall.

“He started putting a lot of pitches in the middle of the plate,” St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina said. “That’s what happens when you leave pitches in the middle - they’re going to hit it hard.”

Garcia (3-1) had allowed just one run in 15 innings in his previous two starts.

“I went out in the first inning and felt really good,” he said. “I didn’t get tired. Not sure what happened.”

Garcia gave up four runs and seven hits in five-plus innings. He struck out seven and walked two.

Philadelphia’s A.J. Burnett scattered seven hits for his first complete game of the year, and the Phillies won their season-high fifth in a row.

“Complete games don’t happen very often,” Burnett said. “I got quick outs, groundball outs. I threw my changeup a lot. I bet I threw 20-plus. It was one of the days when the hook wasn’t there. Normally, we keep pounding the hook trying to get it, but the changeup was effective. That pitch helped more than anything.”

The Phillies’ winning streak has come on the road. They have won nine of 11 overall.

St. Louis has dropped three in a row after winning five straight.

Burnett (5-6) threw 111 pitches to earn his 24th complete game. He struck out three, walked one and hit two batters.

Story Continues →