March 19, 2012; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran (3) celebrates with teammates after hitting a solo homerun against the Atlanta Braves during the top of the sixth inning of a spring training game at Disney Wide World of Sports complex. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Rants Daily: Beltran homers to aid Lynn and Cardinals past Braves


Carlos Beltran smacked his first home run of the spring to help Lance Lynn post the win for the St. Louis Cardinals over the Atlanta Braves.

March 19, 2012; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran (3) celebrates with teammates after hitting a solo homerun against the Atlanta Braves during the top of the sixth inning of a spring training game at Disney Wide World of Sports complex. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Beltran’s homer was off Braves’ prospect Julio Teheran. Teheran has now allowed 9 home runs in 13 innings. Lynn fared much better than Teheran, working five innings while throwing 60 pitches. He allowed one run on two hits and a walk. He struck out two batters. Lynn is certainly showing he is capable of being a starter in the bigs as he was facing the regular Braves 2-5 hitters; Jason Heyward, Brian McCann, Dan Uggla and Freddie Freeman.

The Cardinals took a 2-0 lead in the top half of the fourth inning on two-out double by Yadier Molina and then a Matt Carpenter home run off starter Randall Delgado.

In the Braves’ half of the fifth, Lynn got into some trouble after sailing through the first four innings. He was reached for singles by Uggla and then Freeman. He walked Eric Hinske to load the bases. A sacrifice fly by Joey Terdoslavich brought in the lone Braves run off Lynn. Lynn got out of trouble with a strikeout of Jose Constanza and Molina pegged out Freeman at third.

Beltran led off the top of the sixth with a home run to right center. David Freese singled next and Erik Komatsu came in to run for Freese. Matt Adams struck out, but Komatsu stole second, his fifth stolen base of Spring Training. That brought up Molina who hit his second double of the game raising his average to .481 on the spring.

Mitchell Boggs‘ spring woes continued as he allowed a homer to McCann in the bottom of the seventh inning. Boggs’ spring ERA now stands at 7.20. Scott Linebrink worked another scoreless inning in the eighth keeping his ERA at 0.00. Fernando Salas worked in and out of trouble in the ninth, giving up a run on three hits and walk. He was able to hold on by getting two fly outs to end the game and notch the save.

SCHUMAKER LIKELY TO BEGIN SEASON ON DL

Skip Schumaker‘s MRI came back with a tear in his right oblique muscle. There is no timetable as of yet on his recovery according to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com. The Schumaker injury leaves Daniel Descalso and Tyler Greene to fight for the starter’s role at second base. The loser of that battle will likely fill one of the utility roles available on the team. This also leaves room for one more bench player. The team figures to regard Komatsu, Adron ChambersMatt Carpenter and Shane Robinson for the empty slot. Each of them could make the initial roster assuming Allen Craig also begins the season on the DL and depending on manager Mike Matheny‘s desire for outfielders or infielders on the bench.

CARPENTER BACK ON THE HILL WEDNESDAY

Chris Carpenter will throw a batting practice session on Wednesday according to Langosch. Matheny has not ruled out Carpenter getting the opening day start. He could make two appearances in Spring Training and still be in line for that start. With Lynn pitching well, the Cardinals are not in a position of worry and could take the cautious approach. Starting on Opening Day is an honor but it is not worth pushing a player getting back from an injury.

ON THE FARM

The Cardinals have decided to use Ryan Jackson as the permanent shortshop at Triple-A Memphis this season. Jackson only hit .235 for the spring in 22 plate appearances. He is expected to be the Cardinals shortstop of the future, after Rafael Furcal‘s contract ends following the 2013 season. Peter Kozma will now shift to various spots in the infield, though second base seems like the spot he will fill most often.

TODAY’S GAME

Kyle Lohse is set to start his fourth game of the spring against NL Central rival Houston Astros. The Astros will send young righty Jordan Lyles to the mound in Kissimmee, Fla. Lohse will have two more starts before the regular season, so we can expect the Cardinals to allow Lohse to get into the 60/70 pitch area today at a minimum.

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Tags: Allen Craig Brian McCann Carlos Beltran Chris Carpenter Dan Uggla Daniel Descalso David Freese Erik Komatsu Fernando Salas Freddie Freeman Jason Heyward Kyle Lohse Lance Lynn Matt Adams Matt Carpenter Mike Matheny Rafael Furcal Ryan Jackson Scott Linebrink Skip Schumaker Tyler Greene Yadier Molina