Former Rainbow Greg Garcia leads Cardinals past Nationals

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GREG GARCIA KOLTEN WONG_159462
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Despite a 1-2 game with a home run Friday against the Nationals, Greg Garcia’s batting average dropped to .615.

The former University of Hawai’i All-WAC star and St. Louis Cardinals infielder has made the most of his Major League opportunities in 2016, going 8-13 with 2 home runs and a double.

Garcia was widely expected to be sent back down to Triple-A Memphis Saturday with fellow infielder Matt Carpenter’s return from paternity leave, but his performance may force the Cardinals’ hand in keeping him around.

“Coming up this time I talked with my fiancé and my family and they just said go up there and relax and just have fun.” Garcia told Fox Sports Midwest after the Cardinals’ 6-2 win Friday.

“That’s just how I tried to approach this stint, and I’m proud of how I played and i’m just happy we got a win here tonight.”

While playing an unfamiliar third-base, Garcia made two spectacular plays in the field. He averted a Nationals two-on nobody-out threat in the 6th inning with a diving snare of Ryan Zimmerman’s hot shot to turn a 5-4-3 double play.

“He did a nice job in a position that’s one that he hasn’t played a lot of and looked very comfortable.” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny told Fox Sports Midwest.

Later in the 7th, Garcia ended the Nationals frame with another diving stop and throw across the diamond to retire Jayson Werth.

As is the cliche in baseball Greg led off the top half of the 8th inning by depositing the first pitch he saw over the left-center field wall for his second home run of the season.

“That double-play that he started that was a big spot in the game. Very tough play. Going to his glove side again and then we’re not even talking about the homerun to the opposite center gap. Just a great day.” Matheny said.

While hitting leadoff Garcia walked twice, finishing 1-2.

Fellow former Rainbow Kolten Wong finished the game 0-3.

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