Garcia (11-7) gave up two runs -- one earned -- and scattered seven hits while fanning six and walking only one batter. After the Cardinals bullpen faltered slightly, Jason Motte recorded the final five outs to earn his second save.
"He fell behind early in the game, giving up back-to-back runs, but other than that, he made an adjustment and was able to get ahead of hitters," Laird said of his batterymate. "From the third inning on he was getting ahead of guys, getting 0-1 counts instead of 1-0 counts and mixing it up."
Gerald Laird hit an RBI single, Jon Jay doubled and tripled, and Albert Pujols added an RBI single among his two hits for the Cardinals, who got back on the winning track after dropping Friday's opener.
Homer Bailey (7-7) lasted only three innings in defeat, giving up five runs -- four earned -- on six hits while striking out three and walking one.
After falling behind 2-0 early, St. Louis rallied for three runs in the bottom of the second inning second to take a 3-2 lead. Lance Berkman worked a one-out walk and Skip Schumaker singled to right two batters later. Laird then laced a single to left to score Berkman, and Schumaker was able to cross the plate thanks to a fielding error by Chris Heisey in left field. Garcia brought home Laird with a single.
The Cardinals added two runs in the third when Jay tripled to open the frame and trotted home on a single by Pujols. Following the RBI, Matt Holliday singled to center, allowing Pujols to go to third, and the slugger scored on a groundout by Berkman to make it 5-2.
Jay ripped a one-out ground-rule double in the fifth and Pujols was intentionally walked to put runners on first and second. Holliday then slapped a single into right field to score Jay for a 6-2 Cardinals lead.
Cincinnati made it a two-run game in the eighth courtesy of Bruce's 29th home run of the season.
Earlier, Cincinnati opened the scoring in its first at-bat when Brandon Phillips ripped a leadoff single to left, stole second and came around on a double to left by Renteria.
Todd Frazier slapped a one-out single to left in the second and moved to third on a throwing error by Holliday. Bailey then helped his own cause by knocking in Frazier with a single up the middle to make it a 2-0 game.
"He was changing speeds, throwing his fastball and changeup for strike," Reds manager Dusty Baker said of Garcia's performance. "He was bouncing his breaking ball early and we were going for the bounce."
It was Garcia's 28th start of the season, which tied his season high. He is 2-1 in three starts against the Reds this season...With his single in the second, Bailey is now 7-for-28 (.250) at the plate this season...The Cardinals are 36-30 against the NL Central this season, while the Reds are 34-28 against division opponents.