St. Louis Cardinals' Colby Rasmus, right, scores past Chicago Cubs catcher Welington Castillo off an RBI single by Yadier Molina during the fifth inning.
Unbeaten Jaime Garcia pitched seven effective innings and Matt Holliday homered to start an early burst Thursday that sent the St. Louis Cardinals to a 9-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
Garcia (5-0), who carried a perfect game into the eighth in his previous start against Milwaukee, allowed one run and nine hits. He complemented his 84-pitch outing on an 84-degree day at Wrigley Field by hitting an RBI single.
St. Louis finished with 16 hits and took two of three in the series without manager Tony La Russa, who is back in St. Louis recovering from shingles.
Holliday led off a five-run second with his fifth homer, a long shot off Casey Coleman (1-3) that cleared the bleachers in left field. Colby Rasmus singled, Yadier Molina doubled and with one out, the Cubs intentionally walked Tyler Greene to load the bases.
But Garcia foiled that strategy with an RBI single, Jon Jay followed with a two-run double and Allen Craig hit a sacrifice fly to make it 5-0. Molina hit an RBI single in the fifth for a six-run cushion.
Garcia blanked the Cubs until the sixth when Marlon Byrd, Aramis Ramirez and Jeff Baker hit consecutive singles. Carlos Pena drew a walk that loaded the bases with one out, but Garcia retired Alfonso Soriano on a popup and struck out Wellington Castillo.
The Cardinals added three in the seventh as Greene and Nick Punto had RBI doubles and Jay had an RBI single. Jay had three hits and drove in three runs.
Coleman, making his sixth start with regular rotation members Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner still on the disabled list, lasted only 4 1-3 innings, giving up nine hits and six runs with four walks.