The St. Louis Cardinals lost their second consecutive Grapefruit League contest yesterday 8-6 to the New York Mets in Port St. Lucie despite a grand slam from first baseman Matt Adams. The winds were blowing in all day, but Adams is a behemoth and launched one over the fence which at the time put the Cardinals ahead 6-5.
Adams was the Cardinals’ minor league player of the year last season after posting impressive power numbers in 115 games at AAA Memphis. He hit .300, with 32 homers, 23 doubles and 101 RBI. He is 23 years old and could be the first baseman of the future in St. Louis. He doesn’t seem to have much room this season with Lance Berkman set to make $12 million and Allen Craig ready to return at the end of April or early May. Craig is seemingly going to get his at-bats between first base and the corner outfield positions this season.
Scott Linebrink came into the game with the bases loaded thanks to a wild Maikel Cleto. Linebrink was promptly greeted by an Andres Torres triple plating all three runners which made the score 4-0 Mets. Not the type of result Linebrink was looking for as he is trying to make the team as a non-roster invitee.
In the top half of the fifth, Yadier Molina led off with a single. He was replaced by Koyie Hill on the bases. Mark Hamilton, doubled to center bringing in Hill. Matt Carpenter, playing right field for the first time this spring, singled to move Hamilton to third. Ryan Jackson grounded into a fielders choice scoring Hamilton. Adron Chambers struck out and Shane Robinson grounded out to end the inning with the Mets leading 4-2.
Heading into the top of the seventh down 5-2, the Cardinals mounted a rally. With two outs, Eugenio Velez singled to move Jackson and Robinson up a spot after they received walks. Up came Adams, who deposited the ball over the left-center field wall giving the Cardinals the lead at 6-5.
The lead was short lived as they gave three back in the bottom half of the seventh, due to some sloppy play, putting the Mets ahead for good by the final score of 8-6. Kyle McClellan pitched a scoreless eighth inning for the Redbirds.
The Cardinals’ top prospect Shelby Miller is set to start today’s game at 12:00 PM CT versus the Washington Nationals in Viera, Fl. Miller is expected to get in two innings of work and then turn it over to some of the veteran relievers that made the trip north. Jason Motte, Fernando Salas, Lance Lynn, and Marc Rzepczynski are set to take the mound. Below is the starting lineup courtesy of Derrick Goold from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- Eugenio Velez, LF
- Daniel Descalso, 3B
- Jon Jay, CF
- Matt Adams, 1B
- Tyler Greene, 2B
- Zack Cox, 3B
- Bryan Anderson, C
- Alex Cora, SS
- Erik Komatsu, RF
Descalso and Greene continue the second base competition with Greene at second base again. Bryan Anderson, hoping to dethrone Tony Cruz of back-up duties to Molina is starting at catcher today. Cora continues to see time at shortstop as he hopes to be kept as a utility infielder. Adams is starting at first today and hitting cleanup. Let’s see if the left-handed hitter has an encore in store. The Nationals will send righty Jordan Zimmermann to the mound today against the Cards.
- Lance Berkman and Rafael Furcal are set to make their first starts tomorrow when the Cardinals are back at Roger Dean Stadium.
- Matheny mentioned that the lineup should be filled with regular players tomorrow.
- Molina threw out the first runner to dare try to steal on him yesterday without leaving his crouch.
- Matheny continues to stress the running game and drills are continuing to show this is a priority.
Tags: Adron Chambers Alex Cora Allen Craig Andres Torres Bryan Anderson Erik Komatsu Eugenio Velez Fernando Salas Jake Westbrook Jason Motte Johan Santana Jon Jay Jordan Zimmermann Koyie Hill Kyle McClellan Lance Berkman Lance Lynn Maikel Cleto Marc Rzepczynski Mark Hamilton Matt Adams Matt Carpenter Rafael Furcal Ryan Jackson Shane Robinson Shelby Miller Tony Cruz Tyler Greene Yadier Molina Zack Cox