Postcard from Cardinals camp for Sunday, March 5

By Rob Rains

Weather: 73 degrees, partly cloudy 21 mph wind

Result: Cardinals 14, Mets 11

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – Jose Martinez continued his strong bid to earn a spot on the Cardinals’ opening-day roster with a big game Sunday against the Mets.

Martinez hit a three-run homer, his team-leading third of the spring, and added two more hits to lead the Cardinals’ 18-hit attack. Martinez, once again playing first base, raised his average for the spring to .389.

Harrison Bader, also in the competition for a backup outfielder spot, had a big game as well, going 3-for-4 and driving in four runs, three of which came on a bases-loaded triple. Bader is now hitting .313 for the spring.

Other news and notes from Sunday:

Martinez hit one of three homers for the Cardinals, which increased their spring total to 13 in 10 games.

Low: Reliever Brett Cecil had a tough second appearance as he faced six batters in the seventh inning and did not record an out. All six also scored. He walked two and allowed four hits, including a three-run homer.

At the plate:
The Cardinals’ other homers came from Patrick Wisdom, his second in as many games, and Anthony Garcia, his second of the spring. Both were solo shots … Dexter Fowler drove in two runs with a double and Greg Garcia went 3-for-3, drove in two runs, stole a base and scored three times. He also was one of two Cardinals hit by a pitch, along with Matt Adams … Aledmys Diaz contributed to the biggest offensive game of the spring with two hits, including an RBI single, as he raised his average to .429.

On the mound:
Mike Leake worked four innings, running into trouble in his final inning, giving up two runs. He allowed a long homer to Yoenis Cespedes in the first inning … Sam Tuivailala struck out the side in both the seventh and eighth innings, but the final strikeout in the eighth came after he loaded the bases on two hits and a walk … Matt Bowman gave up an unearned run in the ninth.

In the clubhouse:
Trevor Rosenthal, scheduled to start on Monday, was scratched because of “tightness” in his lat area, the team said. The injury is not related to any of the arm troubles Rosenthal experienced last season … One of several additions to the minor-league staff announced on Sunday was former catcher Travis Tartamella, who will work as a catching instructor.

Up next: The Cardinals play the Twins in Fort Myers on Monday. John Gant will get the start because of Rosenthal’s injury. Gant was used as both a starter and reliever for the Braves last season.

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