March 15, 2012; Fort Myers, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny reacts during the eighth inning of a spring training game against the Boston Red Sox at Jet Blue Park. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Rants Daily: Cardinals rally past Red Sox

After a dismal start from Kyle Lohse, the St. Louis Cardinals staged a five-run eighth inning rally against the Boston Red Sox yesterday and won the game 9-6.

March 15, 2012; Fort Myers, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny reacts during the eighth inning of a spring training game against the Boston Red Sox at Jet Blue Park. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Lohse endured his worst start of the spring. He labored through three and two-thirds innings allowing three runs on six hits. He allowed a homer to Darnell McDonald. Lohse struck out four and walked one. Heading in the game Lohse had allowed only two runs in five innings. The biggest worry is that Lohse has now given up three homers this spring.

Down 6-4 going into the top of the eighth inning the Cardinals were set to face Daniel Bard, a favorite to be a member of the Red Sox rotation. Bard, who was coming in as a reliever, his previous role the last couple seasons had a day to forget. With one out in the top of the sixth, he allowed a home run to first baseman Matt Adams. It was Adams’ second homer of the spring. Daniel Descalso was up next and doubled. He then moved to third on a wild throw attempting to pick him off. Matt Carpenter walked and then Erik Komatsu struck out. Koyie Hill singled in Descalso. Alex Cora walked to load the bases with two outs. Rafael Furcal got an infield hit scoring Carpenter. This briefly knotted the score at four. The Red Sox scored two in the bottom half of the inning making it 6-4

The score remained there until the flood gates opened on Bard in the top half of the eighth. With two outs and Carpenter on first after walking, Eugenio Velez singled putting runners at the corners. Another walk loaded the bases and up came Shane Robinson. He unloaded a three-run triple finally knocking Bard from the game. Oscar Taveras singled in Robinson. Adams singled and Descalso followed with a double plating Taveras making the score 9-6. Bard’s final line; 2.2 IP, 7 ER, 6H,  BB, 1 HR and 1 K.

Kyle McClellan worked the eighth and ninth without allowing a run. Jason Motte and Marc Rzepczynski each had scoreless appearances in the game.

BELTRAN WILL PLAY OUTFIELD TODAY

Manager Mike Matheny was adamant about Carlos Beltran being on the path to play the outfield opening day in a report from Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com. He really has no choice since there is no DH in the National League. Matheny has been utilizing the ability for a DH this spring in an effort to get Beltran at-bats while not forcing the issue in the field. Beltran has been nursing a sore right shoulder limiting him to one game in the field.

CRAIG TAKES BATTING PRACTICE

Allen Craig moved his comeback along taking batting practice yesterday. According to Langosch, assistant hitting coach John Mabry described the session as “awesome”. While there is no set schedule for Craig’s return to the field the team still has hope that he will see game action before Spring Training ends.

TODAY’S GAME

Jake Westbrook takes the hill today against the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium. Matheny is marching out a majority of the players who are expected to be the regulars this season. The lineup is below provided by Rick Hummell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

  1. Rafael Furcal ss
  2. Carlos Beltran rf
  3. Matt Holliday lf
  4. David Freese 3b
  5. Lance Berkman 1b
  6. Yadier Molina c
  7. Jon Jay cf
  8. Tyler Greene 2b
  9. Skip Schumaker dh

 

There are some things to take from the posted lineup. Berkman is back after several days off with a sore knee. Beltran is hitting in the number two spot, Freese hitting cleanup and Berkman fifth. Greene is making the start at second. Despite having been outplayed by Descalso to date, Greene is in there and so is Schumaker at DH. Descalso has played a lot recently so this may just be a day off. With second base still in play, this looks like a lineup that Matheny could put out there during the regular season. I wouldn’t be surprised if the batting positions change by the time the season begins, but this says something about where Matheny sees the group at this time.

NOTEWORTHY
  • Chris Carpenter threw on flat ground yesterday as he works his way back the mound. He has been progressing well since being diagnosed with a bulging disk in his neck.
  • Reliever J.C. Romero got a shot against some lefties yesterday and was not successful. If he makes the team it would be as a second lefty after Rzepczynski.

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Tags: Alex Cora Cardinals Carlos Beltran Chris Carpenter Daniel Bard Daniel Descalso David Freese Erik Komatsu Eugenio Velez J.C. Romero Jake Westbrook Jason Motte John Mabry Jon Jay Koyie Hill Kyle Lohse Lance Berkman Matt Adams Matt Carpenter Matt Holliday Mike Matheny Oscar Taveras Rafael Furcal Shane Robinson Skip Schumaker St Louis Cardinals Tyler Greene Yadier Molina

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