Greg Garcia succeeds against stacked Cardinals depth

Greg Garcia / Associated Press

Former University of Hawaii All-WAC infielder Greg Garcia continued to get his rivalry reps in Thursday night against the Royals.

His start at shortstop replacing the injured Aledmys Diaz marked his third straight nod, the most consecutive times he’s cracked the lineup this season.

“When I first got called up in 2014, it was kind of get your feet wet, that type of deal.” Garcia said. “It’s 2016 now and I just feel more and more comfortable and just gaining confidence every day.”

Despite manning one of the most difficult gigs in all of baseball, a utility position off of the bench, Garcia has hit .346 this season with an excellent .985 on-base plus slugging percentage. He’s also gone 4-7 in pinch-hit opportunities, adding value to one of baseball’s best infields.

“You always expect yourself to do well. Obviously it’s a small sample size, that’s what I’ve been telling everybody,” Garcia said.

His 52 at-bats through Thursday won’t come close to qualifying him for a batting title, but Garcia’s play in the field and at the plate have assured even himself that he belongs in “The Bigs.”

“Just having some success helps with that confidence, and I think when your confidence is high is when you play your best,” he said.

Garcia and the Cardinals lost to the Royals 4-2 Thursday. They’ll look to get back in the win column Friday against the Brewers at 2:15 p.m. HST.

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