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Votto's 3-run homer ruins Garcia's evening in Cardinals' 4-0 loss to Reds

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ST. LOUIS — Back from a long stint on the disabled list, matched zeroes with for five innings. One pitch doomed the St. Louis Cardinals lefty.

's three-run homer in the sixth was all the Cincinnati Reds needed in a 4-0 victory Tuesday night.

"I guess it wasn't good enough," Garcia said. "I've got to do a better job next time when the big situation comes up."

Votto is the hottest hitter in the majors since the All-Star break, batting .561 with four homers and nine RBIs. He also walked, singled and doubled, giving him an NL-leading 37 multihit games.

Leake (9-5) allowed four hits in eight innings to win his fourth straight start amid speculation he might be dealt at the trade deadline. He allowed just two earned runs in his last 30 innings for a 0.60 ERA.

"I've constantly been checking the updates and seeing what's happening," Leake said. "Now I'll go back to doing that, now that I'm not pitching.

"I'm sure Walt (Jocketty) and the front office is happy."

Garcia (3-4), activated from the 15-day disabled list earlier in the day, made his first start since June 24 and gave up three runs and four hits in six innings. He is 10-3 against the Reds, including 7-1 at home.

"He was rolling and that was impressive to watch through five," manager said. "It ended up getting away. Votto's swinging the bat well and he's not going to let a whole lot of mistakes get by."

Garcia held the Reds to one hit before the sixth, when Leake reached on a leadoff single, walked with one out and Votto hit his 19th homer, a drive to straightaway center estimated at 418 feet.

Garcia just missed on a 3-2 pitch that was inside against Phillips that would have ended the inning. After watching the replay, the lefty realized the call from plate umpire Dan Iassogna could have gone either way.

"I think that was probably a ball, but it was close," Matheny said. "Two-out walks do come back and haunt you, and you're getting into the middle of the order."

The Cardinals have been shut out in four of Garcia's eight starts.

"I don't even pay attention to that," Garcia said. "Their pitcher did an amazing job. Our offense has been the best in the game and I don't really think about those things."

Votto's one-out single in the fourth ended a string of 8 1-3 hitless innings for Garcia counting a rehab start with Triple-A Memphis. singled for St. Louis' first hit with two outs in the fifth.

added an RBI single in the ninth off and finished.

Cardinals cleanup man is 2 for 20 against Leake after going 0 for 3 against the right-hander.

FEW AND FAR BETWEEN

A win Wednesday would give the Reds just their fourth series win out of 35 played since the 2003 season against the Cardinals. They have dropped nine straight series in St. Louis.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Cardinals: OF (groin) sat a second straight day but could be in the lineup Wednesday. RHP (biceps) was set to begin a rehab with Triple-A Memphis. C went the distance a day after being replaced in the fifth due to illness.

UP NEXT

Reds rookie (5-7, 3.98 ERA) allowed three runs in seven innings and got no-decision in a loss at Colorado his last time out. St. Louis' (9-5, 2.88) is 5-1 with a 1.75 ERA his last eight starts.

IN A PINCH

St. Louis' doubled pinch-hitting for in the eighth and is 3 for 6 in that role.

PHOTO: St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jaime Garcia  throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds Tuesday, July 28, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Scott Kane)
St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jaime Garcia throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds Tuesday, July 28, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Scott Kane)

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Photo Gallery:
PHOTO: St. Louis Cardinals' Mark Reynolds, left, slides safely into second base under the foot of Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips after hitting a double during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, July 28, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Scott Kane)
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