ST. LOUIS — Jaime Garcia’s recent woes continued and so did the St. Louis Cardinals’ season-long struggles at home.
Garcia gave up a three-run homer to Stephen Vogt in the third, a two-run shot to Khris Davis in the first and the Cardinals lost 7-4 to the Oakland Athletics on Sunday.
St. Louis dropped two of three to the Athletics and the Mets on the homestand and has won only one of its past five series at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals own the majors’ best road record (38-34) but fell to 30-37 at home.
“Every game we don’t win, there is a level of frustration, doesn’t matter home or road,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.
Garcia, who worked four scoreless innings after the Athletics took a 5-1 lead, has allowed 16 runs in 16 innings over his past three starts. He has served up seven homers in those outings after giving up six in his first 13. Both homers against the Athletics came with two out.
“We’ve seen it a few times where he gets some quick outs and something happens and it rolls out of control for a little while,” Matheny said.
“You make mistakes and stuff happens fast,” Garcia said. “I need to do a better job.”
Rookie Andrew Triggs (1-1) earned his first win in his fifth start, allowing three runs on four hits with no walks and eight strikeouts in six innings. Ryan Madson pitched the ninth for his 27th save in 33 chances.
Triggs, who was called up from Triple A Nashville for the eighth time earlier this month, said about 15 family and friends made the trip from his hometown in Nashville to watch the game played with the temperature 92 degrees at first pitch.
“Once you get through those first couple of innings with that heat, you’re maxed out in sweat so there’s not much more you can do,” Triggs said.
Matt Carpenter doubled twice, homered and scored his team’s first three runs to help the Cardinals close to 5-4 after seven innings. His homer in the third extended the Cardinals’ streak to 17 games with a homer, matching their season best.
The Cardinals were hurt by reliever Zach Duke’s error in the eighth. Duke failed to cleanly field Vogt’s grounder with a runner on third that led to a second run for Oakland in the inning. The typically strong defensive Cardinals rank among the worst fielding teams in the National League.
“There’s going to be some kind of narrative every year and this year that’s the narrative and we’re going to find a way to prove that wrong,” Carpenter said. “September is a fun month, especially in St Louis. The weather starts to cool and typically we start to play really well and ride that into October. Hopefully that will be no different this year.”
Oakland’s Ryon Healy doubled in the third to extend his hitting streak to 14 games, the longest active streak in the majors.
St. Louis brought the tying run to the plate with one out against Madson but Randall Grichuk lined out to third and Greg Garcia flied to center for the final out.
The Cardinals finished interleague play 1-8 at home and 8-12 overall. Oakland finished 7-13.
Athletics: INF Billy Butler (concussion) is expected to be cleared to return Monday.
Cardinals: SS Aledmys Diaz (right thumb) will see a hand specialist Monday to determine when he could return. Diaz has not played since July 31.
Athletics: Rookie LHP Sean Manaea (5-8, 4.53) starts the opener of a three-game series at Houston seeking his first road win. He worked seven scoreless innings against the Astros in a 2-1 loss July 10.
Cardinals: RHP Carlos Martinez (12-7, 3.13) will make his third start at Milwaukee as St. Louis opens a nine-game, three-city trip. Martinez won his first two starts against the Brewers, allowing one run in 13 innings.