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Cardinal prospects deliver 9-3 win over Red Sox

2012-03-08T15:55:00Z 2012-03-10T13:12:52Z Cardinal prospects deliver 9-3 win over Red SoxBY JOE STRAUSS stltoday.com
March 08, 2012 3:55 pm  • 

JUPITER, Fla. -- The Cardinals survived a blown three-run lead by batting around during a six-run eighth inning to give manager Mike Matheny his first exhibition win in a 9-3 decision over the Boston Red Sox.

Replacement center fielder Shane Robinson drove a three-run double to turn a 5-3 game into a rout. A bases-loaded walk of outfielder Erik Komatsu broke the tie before last year's first-round draft pick, Kolten Wong, delivered a sacrifice fly. Robinson then drove his double to left field.

An infield error allowed the rally's sixth run.

Matt Adams accounted for the Cardinals' first three runs with a bases-loaded triple in the sixth inning.

Mitchell Boggs' first outing of camp became a rough one as the Red Sox jumped him for three runs in the top of the eighth.

Boggs, one of four projected Opening Day relievers to make their exhibition debut Thursday, fed the rally with a pair of walks before shortstop Jose Iglesius drove a triple to right field.

Fernando Salas worked a perfect ninth inning to close the 3 hour, 40 minute tilt.

The win bumped the Cardinals spring record to 1-2-1.

***

JUPITER, Fla. -- The Cardinals entered the sixth inning of their rain-delayed game against the Boston Red Sox seeking to break a scoreless game.

Matt Adams once again provided the answer.

The Cardinals' first-base prospect broke open the tie game with an opposite-field, bases-loaded, stand-up triple to score Adron Chambers, Matt Carpenter and Mark Hamilton against lefthander Jesse Carlson. Adams' three-run drive came two days after he reached the New York Mets for an opposite-field grand slam in Port St. Lucie. Adams again went to left-center field for Thursday's game-breaker.

Jaime Garcia, Chuckie Fick, Nick Gast and Eduardo Sanchez held the Red Sox scoreless for six innings while the Cardinals tried to manufacture a run following the departure of the regular lineup.

Sanchez stretched his first outing of the spring for two innings and 38 pitches. Coming off a injury-abbreviated season, Sanchez struggled for precision but offered a sharp breaking pitch that kept the Sox hitters off his 93 mile-per-hour fastball. The Cardinals planned to use Fernando Salas and Mitchell Boggs today, which would mean every member of the bullpen would have received game exposure.

The Cardinals created a sixth-inning threat when Chambers singled, stole second and Carpenter and Hamilton worked walks with none out. Adams seven RBI account for nearly half of the Cardinals' first 16 runs this spring.

***

JUPITER, Fla. -- Jaime Garcia gave the Cardinals two impressive innings against the Boston Red Sox in Thursday's start at Roger Dean Stadium.

Garcia threw 19 strikes within his 27-pitch appearance that included four strikeouts and no ball hit out of the infield.

Facing a representative Red Sox lineup, the Redbirds lefthander struck out Jacoby Ellsbuiry and second baseman Dustin Pedroia to open the game before getting first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to tap the third out back to the mound.

Garcia needed only 14 pitches to register his first four outs, including three strikeouts. He finished his outing by getting a ground out from catcher Jason Saltamacchia before recording his fourth strikeout against third baseman Will Middlebrooks. 

Cardinal starters Kyle Lohse, Jake Westbrook and Garcia have allowed one run in six total innings.

The Cardinals entered Thursday as the only National League team and one of only two major league clubs without an exhibition win. The Cardinals tied the Washington Nationals Wednesday while the Chicago White Sox also entered Thursday's play winless.

***

JUPITER, Fla. • The Cardinals face their fourth consecutive elite arm today when they encounter Boston Red Sox ace Josh Beckett this afternoon at Roger Dean Stadium.

Manager Mike Matheny has put together what could pass as an Opening Day lineup except for the absence of right fielder Carlos Beltran.

Beltran remains out of camp this morning with what are described as flu symptoms. He has been on a modified program due to shoulder discomfort that to date has limited him to a designated hitter role. First base prospect Matt Adams will assume the DH role today.

Today's lineup features the first Grapefruit League appearance by first baseman Lance Berkman and shortstop Rafael Furcal. Lefthander Jaime Garcia makes his first spring appearance as well.

The club has yet to project Beltran's return to the field. Both the team and player have minimized a condition that followed Beltran into camp. Skip Schumaker will receive significant time in right field until Beltran receives clearance to play defense.

Yet to arrive, the Red Sox lineup is not posted. As for the Cardinals:

SS Rafael Furcal

CF Jon Jay

LF Matt Holliday

1B Lance Berkman

3B David Freese

DH Matt Adams

C Yadier Molina

RF Skip Schumaker

2B Tyler Greene

Starting pitcher: LHP Jaime Garcia. Followed by: LHP John Gast, LHP J. C. Romero, RHP Mitchell Boggs, RHP Chuckie Fick, RHP Eduardo Sanchez, RHP Fernando Salas.

Also available, if needed: LHP Sam Freeman, LHP R. J. Swindle, RHP Adam Reifer.

Salas, Boggs and Sanchez figure to get priority treatment today. Matheny kept Salas out of his previous assignment in an attempt to get him to work the ninth with a save opportunity. Today, the righty will be targeted to get his work in after Garcia.

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Cardinal Beat

Baseball writers Derrick Goold and Rick Hummel cover the Cardinals for the Post-Dispatch and STLtoday.com. They'll provide daily Cardinals updates here, from the start of spring training through the end of the season and beyond.

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