Postcard from Cardinals camp for Thursday, March 16

By Rob Rains

Weather: 67 degrees, sunny

Result: Cardinals 2, Twins 1

JUPITER, Fla. - Getting his first start in more than four years was important to Trevor Rosenthal on Thursday but not as important is simply getting back on the mound.

Pitching in his first game since March 3, Rosenthal worked the first two innings and was able to get through the outing without giving up a run despite allowing two hits and two walks.

Rosenthal had not pitched for the last two weeks because of soreness in his lat muscle, and was pleased with his 38-pitch effort.

“I just wanted to go out there and throw strikes,” Rosenthal said.

Rosenthal said he has not been told what the Cardinals have planned for his role this season, which likely is due in part to how long he has gone since his last appearance.

The team had hoped he could be stretched out enough this spring to potentially start games, but there likely is not enough time left in spring training to do that. Rosenthal said he does think there are enough games left where he can prepare for possible multi-inning assignments.

“I think I can fill different roles and do different things,” he said. “I’m just open to going out and pitching well. That’s really my focus.”

It was Rosenthal’s first start since Aug. 22, 2012, when he pitched five scoreless innings for Memphis.

Other news and notes from Thursday:

High: The Cardinals earned the walk-off victory on a bases loaded single by Randal Grichuk with two outs in the ninth.

Low: The Cardinals had only one hit prior to the ninth inning, meaning they had a combined two hits in 14 consecutive innings against the Twins on Wednesday and Thursday.

At the plate: The only hit before the ninth was a home run by Jedd Gyorko in the fourth, his second of the spring … In the ninth, Chad Huffman singled with one out and Kolten Wong and Patrick Wisdom walked to load the bases. After Gyorko flied out to left, Grichuk singled to right to drive in the winning run … Those were the only two at-bats in the game for the Cardinals with runners in scoring position.

On the mound:
The Twins’ only run came against John Gant, who struggled with his control, walking three and allowing two hits in his two innings … Seung Hwan Oh, making his first appearance since returning from the World Baseball Classic, allowed one hit and struck out two in his one inning of work … Kevin Siegrist pitched a perfect inning, recording two strikeouts, and the Cardinals also got scoreless innings from Josh Lucas, Sam Tuivailala and Matt Bowman.

In the clubhouse: Matt Carpenter has been cleared to resume full baseball activities and expects to play on Friday with no restrictions … Adolis Garcia, the player the Cardinals signed earlier this spring out of Cuba, obtained his work visa on Thursday in Haiti and is expected back in camp on Friday. He is now able to play in major-league spring games, but also could appear in minor league games, which begin on Friday … In an intrasquad minor-league game on Thursday, Delvin Perez, the team’s top pick in last year’s draft, homered. He did not hit a home run in 43 games in the Gulf Coast League last summer … The Cardinals optioned outfield prospect Magneuris Sierra to Palm Beach, but that does not guarantee he will begin the season at that level … Tyler Lyons threw live batting practice for the third time and believes he is getting close to being ready to pitch in a game.

Up next: Adam Wainwright will make his fourth start of the spring on Friday when the Cardinals take on the Mets in Port St. Lucie. Also on the list of available pitchers are Miguel Socolovich and Jonathan Broxton.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains