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Jaime Garcia leads St. Louis Cardinals to easy win over Nationals

If St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher isn't healthy and ready to go, he sure has a funny way of showing it.

Garcia was excellent Wednesday, throwing eight breezy innings against the Washington Nationals, allowing one run on six hits. He struck out eight hitters and walked none.

The Redbirds hitters did their part, scoring three runs in each of the first three innings -- although in the third they had quite a bit of help from some shaky Washington defense.

Shane Robinson started in centerfield and Daniel Descalso played at third base in place of injured starter David Freese. They each went 2-for-3 and scored a pair of runs apiece. Robinson drove in two and Descalso drove in one. Shortstop Pete Kozma and second baseman Ryan Jackson also collected a pair of hits each.

The Nationals played a split squad game and kept more of their starters at their home park. But Garcia threw strikes, and used the defense He got several lazy fly balls for the outfielders and grounders when he needed them

Garcia finished his spring with a 2-1 record and a 2.48 ERA.