Postcard from Cardinals camp for Saturday, Feb. 25

By Rob Rains


Weather: Partly cloudy, 81 degrees

Result: Marlins 8, Cardinals 7

JUPITER, Fla. - The transition of Matt Carpenter from the leadoff spot to the third spot in the Cardinals’ batting order got off to a good start in the spring training opener on Saturday.

Following a pair of walks to new leadoff hitter Dexter Fowler, Carpenter drove in three runs with a sacrifice fly in the first inning and a two-run homer in the third.

“It’s not how I drew it up,” Fowler said of taking the two walks. “As I was going up to bat the umpire looked at me and goes like ‘swing the bat.’ I got two swings today.

“The way we manufactured that run in the first inning was key.”

High: After walking in the first, Fowler stole second, tagged up on a fly to center field to advance to third and then scored on Carpenter’s sacrifice fly.

Low: Making what likely is his only spring appearance before leaving to pitch for Korea in the World Baseball Classic, Seung Hwan Oh allowed three hits, two of them home runs, in his one inning of work. He allowed only two home runs while facing 208 batters from April through July last season.

At the plate: Harrison Bader also homered for the Cardinals, who manufactured their seven runs on only eight hits, six of them singles … Jedd Gyorko went 2-for-2 after after getting the start at third base … The team’s other RBIs came from Stephen Piscotty, Carson Kelly and Anthony Garcia … The Cardinals’ had only one hit in 10 at-bats with a runner in scoring position.

On the mound: Luke Weaver loaded the bases with nobody out in the first inning on two walks and a hit but got Giancarlo Stanton to hit into a double play and allowed only the one run … Austin Gomber allowed five hits and three runs in two innings of work … The loss went to reliever John Gant, making his Cardinals debut, when he allowed a home run to Tyler Moore in the seventh inning when the score tied 7-7.

In the clubhouse: Kolten Wong is still having some discomfort in his right shoulder that dates back to when he was hurt playing left field in a game at Wrigley Field last September. Manager Mike Matheny said Wong should be ready to play in the next few days … The Cardinals’ newest player, Cuban outfielder Jose Adolis Garcia, has to obtain a work visa before he can play in a spring game but he is allowed to work out before games … Saturday was the first of seven spring games the Cardinals will play against the Marlins.

Up next: Mike Mayers will get the start on Sunday when the Cardinals play the Marlins again, this time as the home team. Scheduled to follow Mayers to the mound are Sandy Alcantara, Corey Baker, Brett Cecil, Jonathan Broxton and Matt Bowman.

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