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St. Louis at New York

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    St. Louis0040000026--
    N.Y. Mets «1130003008--

    Mets 8, Cardinals 6

    •  

    PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) - To Johan Santana and the New York Mets, this was a most pleasant spring sight.

    The lefty ace returned to the mound for his first game against major league hitters in 18 months and pitched two scoreless innings Tuesday as a Mets split squad beat the St. Louis Cardinals 8-6.

    Santana walked his first batter on five pitches. But a single marked the only other runner against Santana, who threw 17 of 29 pitches for strikes.

    The two-time Cy Young winner last pitched to big league hitters on Sept. 2, 2010, in a game in Atlanta. Two weeks later he underwent surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder.

    "Finally I had an opportunity to go out there and finally get the first one out of the way," Santana said. "... I was excited about today. Even as I was preparing myself prior to the game, I was anxious to go out there and do it."

    "But, at the same time, it was all about how I feel. I know it is a game situation and you have to do your job out there, but I was just focused on making sure I do the mechanics the right way and feeling good and not feeling anything in my arm, and that's how I felt today. I felt good."

    This time last year, Santana was working toward a potential return in June, but the Mets shut him down in August after he pitched just five innings with the Class A St. Lucie Mets.

    Mark Hamilton recorded the only hit against Santana, singling on a 1-2 changeup in the second inning. Hamilton later hit an RBI double.

    After a leadoff walk, Santana turned a nice double play on Skip Schumaker's comebacker to the mound and ended the inning when Matt Holliday flied out.

    Santana threw fastballs on all 13 of his pitches in the first inning, mostly around 87-88 mph on the radar gun and topping out at 90 mph. But he broke out his signature changeup and a few sliders in the second.

    "I didn't know what his velocity would be like having not pitched in a long time," Holliday said. "(Throwing) 89-90 at the beginning of spring training I would say is pretty good. He looked pretty good. ... He knows how to pitch so if he is healthy he is going to be effective."

    Holliday got a good swing on the 3-2 four-seam fastball he connected on, but the ball caught in the wind and dropped into the glove of center fielder Andres Torres.

    "I tell you what, that would have been a home run in Arizona," Holliday said.

    Santana said it was an adjustment just being on the mound in a game situation again. He looked like his old self when he got Yadier Molina to swing and miss a changeup.

    Mets catcher Josh Thole that pitch was the "Johan changeup everyone is used to seeing."

    "It was fun," Thole said. "I think it should be encouraging for the whole team. He went out there and it was kind of like he just left off where he was."

    Santana said the key for him now is to see how he feels over the next two days. He is scheduled to pitch again Sunday against the Miami Marlins.

    "That will be the key - the next couple of days, trying to throw my bullpen and see if I'll be ready for my next start," Santana said.

    "But, again, the way I feel right now, and the way I ended up the game today, it was good, so it's a good sign. Hopefully we'll be back on the mound in five games."

    Mets manager Terry Collins was encouraged to see his ace back on

    the mound in a game.

    "This has been a great camp so far, but that might be the most positive day we had," Collins said.

    Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook pitched two scoreless innings. He allowed one hit, walked two and struck out two.

    "For the first one, I'm really looking for how I feel, and I feel strong," Westbrook said. "It felt really good. Obviously, the walks aren't something that I want to continue to be a pattern."

    "It's a good starting point. I'll take what I got out of the day and learn from it and try to get back to be more consistent in the zone," he said.

    NOTES: Torres scored in the bottom of the third inning to get the Met on the board, then extended the lead to 4-0 in the fourth with a bases-loaded triple. ... Mets reliever Pedro Beato left the game with a stiff shoulder after giving up one hit in a third of an inning. ... Collins said 3B David Wright, nursing a sore ribcage, did some work in the weight room and came out of it without any pain or discomfort but likely will not play until at least early next week.

     
    Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
     
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    St. Louis Cardinals
    HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
    Shane Robinson, CF2100201 .000
       a- Zack Cox, PH0000000 .000
       b- Kyle Conley, PH1000010 .000
    Skip Schumaker, 2B3010011 .167
        Eugenio Velez, PR-2B2110010 .333
    Matt Holliday, DH3010000 .200
        Matt Adams, PR-DH1114000 .500
    David Freese, 3B3000002 .000
        Erik Komatsu, RF-LF1010000 .500
    Yadier Molina, C2010000 .200
        Koyie Hill, PR-C2100002 .000
    Mark Hamilton, 1B4121022 .500
    Matt Carpenter, RF-3B4010011 .333
    Ryan Jackson, SS2101110 .333
        Pete Kozma, SS1000000 .000
    Adron Chambers, LF3000022 .000
        Oscar Taveras, RF1000000 .000
    Totals3569639  
    a-announced for Robinson in the 9th
    b-struck out for Cox in the 9th
    Batting
    2B - Erik Komatsu (1, Beato), Mark Hamilton (1, Rauch)
    HR - Matt Adams (1, Familia)
    RBI - Matt Adams 4 (4), Mark Hamilton (1), Ryan Jackson (1)
    2-OUT RBI - Matt Adams 4 (4)
    SB - Ryan Jackson (1, 2nd base off Rauch/Thole)
    Team LOB - 5
    Fielding
    E - Maikel Cleto (1, Throwing), Pete Kozma (1, Throwing)
    St. Louis Cardinals
    PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
    Jake Westbrook 2100220 0.00
    Maikel Cleto 1.2243300 16.20
    Scott Linebrink 1.1100000 0.00
    Sam Freeman 1311010 9.00
    Adam Reifer (BS,1; L,0-1) 1232100 18.00
    Kyle McClellan 1000000 0.00
    WP - Adam Reifer (1)
    Pitches-Strikes - Jake Westbrook 18-10, Maikel Cleto 19-7, Scott Linebrink 5-5, Sam Freeman 8-8, Adam Reifer 11-6, Kyle McClellan 3-3
    Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jake Westbrook 2-1, Maikel Cleto 2-3, Scott Linebrink 4-0, Adam Reifer 2-2, Kyle McClellan 1-2
    Batters Faced - Jake Westbrook 8, Maikel Cleto 10, Scott Linebrink 5, Sam Freeman 6, Adam Reifer 7, Kyle McClellan 3
    New York Mets
    HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
    Andres Torres, CF3123000 .750
        Matt den Dekker, PR-CF2000012 .000
    Jordany Valdespin, 2B2011001 .333
       a- Wilfredo Tovar, PH-2B2000002 .000
    Jason Bay, DH1000200 .000
       b- Brandon Nimmo, PH-DH1100100 .000
    Ike Davis, 1B3000012 .200
        Val Pascucci, 1B1110000 .333
    Justin Turner, 3B3000010 .000
        Aderlin Rodriguez, 3B1100000 .000
    Josh Thole, C1100100 .000
        Mike Nickeas, C2000001 .000
    Adam Loewen, LF2220100 .500
        Darrell Ceciliani, RF10110001.000
    Mike Baxter, RF3010001 .400
        Dustin Lawley, LF1000001 .000
    Ronny Cedeno, SS2111100 .333
        Phillip Evans, PR-SS1000001 .000
    Totals3289663  
    a-fouled out for Valdespin in the 6th
    b-walked for Bay in the 7th
    Batting
    2B - Darrell Ceciliani (1, Reifer)
    3B - Andres Torres (1, Linebrink)
    SF - Jordany Valdespin (1)
    RBI - Andres Torres 3 (3), Jordany Valdespin (1), Darrell Ceciliani (1), Ronny Cedeno (1)
    2-OUT RBI - Andres Torres 3 (3)
    CS - Jordany Valdespin (1, 2nd base by Westbrook/Molina)
    Team LOB - 7
    Fielding
    DP - Santana-Cedeno-Davis
    New York Mets
    PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
    Johan Santana 2100100 0.00
    R.A. Dickey 2000020 0.00
    Jon Rauch (H,1) 1322010 18.00
    Jeurys Familia (BS,1) 1.2444221 21.60
    Pedro Beato (W,1-0) 0.1100000 0.00
    D.J. Carrasco (H,1) 1.1000020 0.00
    Josh Edgin (S,1) 0.2000020 0.00
    Pitches-Strikes - Johan Santana 10-6, R.A. Dickey 10-10, Jon Rauch 8-8, Jeurys Familia 21-13, Pedro Beato 2-2, D.J. Carrasco 8-8, Josh Edgin 6-6
    Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Johan Santana 4-1, R.A. Dickey 4-0, Jon Rauch 2-0, Jeurys Familia 1-2, D.J. Carrasco 1-1
    Batters Faced - Johan Santana 7, R.A. Dickey 6, Jon Rauch 6, Jeurys Familia 11, Pedro Beato 2, D.J. Carrasco 4, Josh Edgin 2
    Game Information
    Attendance - 4537
    Game Time - 2:45
    Temperature - 73
    Umpires - Home - Jerry Meals, First Base - UMP Nonindividual, Second Base - Ed Hickox, Third Base - James Hoye