Postcard from Cardinals camp for Sunday, March 26

Weather: 79 degrees, sunny

Result: Cardinals 3, Marlins 0


JUPITER, Fla. – Yadier Molina announced his return to the Cardinals’ lineup on Sunday in a big way.

Playing with the team for the first time since March 5 because of his stint with team Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, Molina hit a home run over the left field wall in the second inning to spark the Cardinals’ win over the Marlins.

It was the first time Molina has hit a home run in a spring training game since 2013.

Molina added a single later in the game, continuing the offensive success he had in guiding Puerto Rico into the championship game of the WBC.

This also could be a big week off the field for Molina, who would like any discussions about a possible contract extension with the Cardinals completed before the start of the regular season. Molina could become a free agent at the end of this season.

Other news and notes from Sunday:

High: Dexter Fowler also hit his first home run of the spring, in the third inning, one of his two hits on the day. He also scored two runs, scoring on a sacrifice fly by Matt Carpenter in the sixth.

Low: Kolten Wong, in danger of becoming a platoon player when the regular season begins, was 0-for-3 to drop his spring average to .170..

At the plate: Other than the two hits each for Molina and Fowler the Cardinals combined for only three singles, one each by Aledmys Diaz, Stephen Piscotty and Randal Grichuk … Piscotty, dropped to sixth in the lineup, was 1-for-4 but did raise his spring average to .143 … The only Cardinal expected to be in the opening day lineup who did not play was third baseman Jhonny Peralta, who was rested after fouling a ball off his left knee on Saturday. Jedd Gyorko started at third, hitting cleanup, and was 0-for-3.

On the mound: Mike Leake became the first Cardinal to work six innings this spring. He scattered seven hits, walked one and struck out two … Brett Cecil worked a 1-2-3 inning before Matt Bowman pitched the final two innings. Bowman has not allowed a run in 11 innings this spring, giving up just nine hits and one walk.

Up next
: Carlos Martinez is scheduled to make his final appearance before starting on opening day against the Cubs as the Cardinals head back to West Palm Beach on Monday night to play the Astros. The game begins at 5:05 p.m. St. Louis time.