WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Nationals’ Anibal Sanchez had not faced the Cardinals since he set the tone for Washington’s 2019 National League Championship series sweep by taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning of Game 1.
The Cardinals wound up with one hit off Sanchez that night in a 2-0 Washington victory over Miles Mikolas. The Cardinals had 12 times as many hits off Sanchez in four innings Wednesday in a 29-8 smackdown. For the day, the Cardinals had a whopping 26 hits and blew open an already one-sided game with 15 runs in the eighth inning.
Paul DeJong, hitting .471 for the spring, knocked in five runs with a three-run homer (off reliever Austin Voth) and a single.
Paul Goldschmidt, who entered the game hitting .400, raised his average to .526 with four hits, including two singles and a home run off Sanchez.
Yadier Molina, playing in his second game of the spring, had a long homer to left and a double.
Leadoff man Dylan Carlson, who was on base three times in four plate appearances, had a single in each of the first two innings off Sanchez, who did not pitch last season and who, mercifully, was lifted after 89 pitches.
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Albert Pujols, appearing in Cardinals livery for the first time since the 2011 World Series, hit into a bases-loaded double play that scored a run, popped out with two men on and then singled in his third at-bat while serving as the designated hitter.
"It feels good to be back in a real game, in the field, competing, and facing big-league pitching,” Pujols said. “Getting my routine, getting my work I need to over the last couple of days, knowing that I was going to be able to play today — and it was good. I felt like I took some great swings, trying to get my feet wet again.”
Making his second Grapefruit League start, Mikolas allowed one run over five innings, permitting only four singles — one off a broken bat — and hitting one batter. He walked no one and fanned two in throwing 68 pitches, 44 for strikes.
Mikolas left the game having blanked the Nationals, but the final batter he faced reached base with a hit in the sixth, and left-hander T.J. McFarland allowed a three-run homer to Josh Bell later in what became a four-run inning.
The Cardinals' reserves answered that and more in the eighth, although rookie Juan Yepez had to leave after being hit with a pitch on the left side of his face.
In the regular season, the Cardinals never had scored as many as 15 runs in one inning, with their previous high of 12 having been done twice, most recently in 2012 in Chicago. Their regular-season high of 28 runs came at Philadelphia in 1929.
The Cardinals are 6-4 for the spring and Washington, not surprisingly, is 1-10.