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Cards too tough for Nats' Minor League squad

Jordan allows seven earned runs on 10 hits; Crotta, Barrett stingy out of 'pen

Cards too tough for Nats' Minor League squad

JUPITER, Fla. -- Facing a Nationals club that did not feature a player on Washington's 40-man roster, the Cardinals cruised to a 10-1 win on Wednesday in what was Jaime Garcia's final tuneup before he makes his season debut against the D-backs next week.

Garcia pitched eight innings and was staked to a nine-run lead just three frames into the contest. The Cardinals scored three times in the first, two of those runs coming on Allen Craig's RBI single. Consecutive RBI hits from Shane Robinson, Daniel Descalso and Matt Holliday in the second tacked on three more runs.

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The Cardinals then sent eight batters to the plate in a three-run third that featured another run-scoring hit by Robinson. Several of St. Louis' starters were pulled from the game soon after; Robinson, Descalso, Pete Kozma and Ryan Jackson still finished with multi-hit games.

All nine of those runs, seven earned, were charged to Washington's Taylor Jordan, who is ranked by MLB.com as the organization's No. 17 prospect. Jordan, who threw 43 of his 62 pitches for strikes, allowed 10 hits and walked two.

"I think it went pretty well considering the runs I gave up," Jordan said. "I threw a lot of strikes. A couple of times I went up in the zone. All in all I was pretty happy with it. I didn't think I was going to throw a no-hitter or anything like that."

Garcia was much sharper as he wrapped up his stellar spring. Even though he faced a Nationals starting lineup that had a combined 20 previous Grapefruit League at-bats this spring, Garcia became the first Cardinals starter to pitch past the sixth this spring. The lefty, who will start the Cardinals' second regular-season game, scattered six hits and limited Washington to one run. He struck out eight.

Washington's Jeff Mandel allowed just one run in his 2 2/3-innings relief appearance. Mike Crotta and Aaron Barrett each contributed a scoreless inning out of the 'pen.

Up next for the Nationals: The Nationals will play their final Grapefruit League game Thursday at Space Coast Stadium against the visiting Mets, live on MLB.TV and ESPN at 1:05 p.m. ET. Left-hander Gio Gonzalez, 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA this spring, will take the mound against the division rivals.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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