Partly cloudy, 84 degrees
Cardinals 10, Astros 2
Adam Wainwright had a solid first outing of the spring, but the pitcher who relieved him, Seth Maness, was even better. Making his big-league spring debut, Maness – the Cardinals’ minor league pitcher of the year last season – relieved Wainwright with runners on second and third in the third inning, and got an inning-ending strikeout. It was the first of the three strikeouts he recorded in getting four consecutive outs. “He’s been impressive all spring,” said manager Mike Matheny. “He has a real good feel for pitching. He was hitting the glove with every pitch. He’s not just a finesse guy. He’s got some good life on the ball. I love putting guys in spots like that to see how they respond, and he handled it well.”
The game drew a crowd of just 3,727, a little more than half of the stadium capacity. The low attendance might be attributed to the fact it was the Astros in town, and also to the fact the game came on Feb. 25, still eight days earlier than the first spring game last year. Rain began to fall during the eighth inning.
On the field:
Wainwright sailed through his first two innings, allowing only one single, as he threw only 22 pitches, 18 for strikes. He went out for a third inning because of the low pitch count and gave up two more hits before coming out of the game. “I threw a lot of changeups and in the first inning they were a little hard so the second inning I backed off a little bit. The third inning I went to an even looser grip. Last year I couldn’t throw my old changeup at all, I had to go to like a split change. Now I’m able to get through my changeup and throw it effectively. That is one thing I’m going to work on.” … Matt Holliday, Allen Craig and Pete Kozma homered for the Cardinals to lead their 15-hit attack. David Freese was 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs and Shane Robinson was also 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs and walked twice, reaching base four times.
Off the field:
First baseman Matt Adams reported his knee was feeling better after a day of treatment, but he still is expected to sit out a couple more games … Matheny said Yadier Molina might see some game action at first base before he leaves for the World Baseball Classic, because he might play some there for the Puerto Rico team … Matheny said Shelby Miller’s live BP went fine, and after one more side session, he will be ready to pitch in a game.
The Cardinals will head across the state to Ft. Myers on Tuesday to play the Red Sox again. Jaime Garcia will start on the mound but most of the team’s regulars will be staying behind in Jupiter. The most experienced players going are Matt Carpenter and Daniel Descalso … Matheny announced the starters for the rest of the week will be Lance Lynn on Wednesday, Jake Westbrook on Thursday and Joe Kelly on Friday.