Postcard from Cardinals camp for Sunday, Feb. 26

By Rob Rains

Weather: 80 degrees, partly cloudy

Result: Cardinals 7, Marlins 4

JUPITER, Fla. – Eric Fryer is picking up right where he left off the last time he wore a Cardinals’ uniform.

Fryer had a two-run single and also tripled on Sunday, leading the Cardinals to their first win of the spring. It was his first start behind the plate after re-signing with the Cardinals over the winter as a free agent. He left last July, after hitting .368 in 24 games backing up Yadier Molina when he was claimed on waivers by the Pirates.

The Cardinals had tried unsuccessfully to sneak him through waivers so they could return him to Memphis when Brayan Pena came off the disabled list.

Fryer is in camp as a non-roster player but all indications are he will be Molina’s backup again when the regular season begins.

Other news and notes from Sunday:

High: Matt Bowman, in a much different spot this spring than he was a year ago, earned the save by striking out two of the three hitters he faced in the ninth inning.

Low: Matt Adams had his second consecutive rough day, going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. He is now 0-for-6 in the first two games and has struck out four times.

At the plate: It was a good day for the Cardinals’ catchers. In addition to Fryer’s offense, Molina – serving as the DH – went 2-for-2, including a two-run double following Fryer’s first hit as the Cardinals scored four times in the second inning … Alberto Rosario, in relief of Fryer, also had a double in two at-bats … Aledmys Diaz made his first start of the spring and had a pair of infield hits in addition to a sacrifice fly … The Cardinals’ other RBIs came from shortstop prospect Edmundo Sosa and non-roster infielder Wilfredo Tovar, both on singles in the sixth inning.

On the mound:
Brett Cecil pitched a scoreless inning in his Cardinals debut, pitching around two singles by getting two strikeouts … Jonathan Broxton also worked a scoreless inning … It was a rough major-league spring debut for prospect Sandy Alcantara, who allowed five hits and four runs in 1 1/3 innings. He also issued two walks and struck out two but threw 50 pitches to get the four outs … Corey Baker, added as a late injury replacement, worked 2 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits.

In the clubhouse:
Baker will leave camp on Monday to join the team from Israel as it begins preparing for the World Baseball Classic … Starting pitcher Mike Mayers, who worked two scoreless innings, had a homecoming reunion of sorts with Fryer. Each went to high school in the same conference near Columbus, Ohio, but went to different schools at different times. “I pitched against his high school many times,” Mayers said … Cecil said one of his best pitches on Sunday was his changeup, which he intends to utilize more this season as he moves from the AL East to the NL Central. “That’s the most I’ve thrown my changeup in one inning in a spring training game in a long time,” Cecil said. “It’s such a good pitch for me. When I was in the AL East (with Toronto) it was pretty much fastball-curveball. Matheny liked what he saw of the pitch as well, even though he wasn’t certain from the bench what it was as he watched the hitter’s reactions. “I didn’t expect to see that,” Matheny said. “We’ve seen from his splits he can have effectiveness against righties and that’s going to help that for sure.”

Looking ahead: 
The Cardinals will split their squad for two games on Monday, hosting Washington and traveling to Fort Myers to play the Red Sox. Lance Lynn will start the game in Jupiter and Michael Wacha the road game. Trevor Rosenthal is set to make his spring debut against the Nationals. Jordan Schafer, who played center field on Saturday, is scheduled to pitch in relief against the Red Sox as he tries the Cardinals he could fill both roles … Kolten Wong is set to make his first start of the spring in the road game ... After Mike Leake gets his first start on Tuesday, he will be followed by Carlos Martinez on Wednesday and Adam Wainwright on Thursday.

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