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St. Louis at Washington

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    St. Louis «6
    Washington2

    Cardinals 6, Nationals 2

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    VIERA, Fla. (AP) - Stephen Strasburg has never been to Chicago, much less experienced what it's like to pitch at Wrigley Field.

    On opening day, for that matter.

    He's about to find out. The young Washington ace pitched four innings in his final tuneup Saturday as the Nationals lost to the St. Louis Cardinals 6-2.

    Strasburg allowed three runs, two of them earned, all in the second inning. He gave up five hits overall, striking out three and walking one.

    Strasburg finished spring training with a 1-4 record and 4.18 ERA. He struck out 17 and walked six in 23 2-3 innings. His next outing will come Thursday against the Cubs.

    "I'm ready to get out of Florida, that's for sure," Strasburg said.

    The 23-year-old wrapped up his first full spring training since undergoing Tommy John surgery in September 2010, which cut short his rookie season.

    "I think the bottom line is I got my work in, got the innings in," Strasburg said. "I felt good some days, felt a little off on others. All in all, I'm happy with it. I learned a lot. It's still a huge learning process, and I think I have a much better idea of what makes me successful. I'm just going to try to build off that."

    Strasburg will be limited to 160 innings this season, but that didn't stop the Nationals from making him their No. 1 starter. His family will be in Chicago for the opener, which will mark the first time his mother has seen him pitch in person since he made his major league debut against Pittsburgh on June 8, 2010, when he struck out 14.

    "It's been a long time," Strasburg said. "I'm excited for the experience. It's something that doesn't happen to everybody, to start opening day in Wrigley. It's going to be fun no matter what."

    While it may be a long five days for Strasburg to wait until he pitches again, it's an even more excruciating time for players like infielder Chad Tracy, who's trying to make the Nationals as a reserve. Tracy had two hits, including a solo homer, but could possibly lose out to outfielder Xavier Nady whenever the final roster cuts are announced.

    "I think everybody's waiting," Tracy said. "No official word has been given. I feel good about where I'm at, where I stand. You've just got to let things play out and hopefully, you go north."

    For St. Louis, right-hander Jake Westbrook finished off a strong spring, throwing 5 2-3 innings of two-hit ball. He allowed the home run to Tracy and walked three while striking out four. He finished the spring with a 1.50 ERA.

    "Jake was just ... all the normal stuff. Controlling the counts, using the bottom of the zone, letting the sinker do its thing and trusting his defense," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "It was the same old stuff he's been doing all spring. It was nice to see again."

    Daniel Descalso had a big day for St. Louis with two doubles and four RBIs.

    The win gave the Cardinals a 16-8-2 exhibition record, meaning the defending World Series champions will avoid double-digit losses in spring training for the first time in more than 10 years, despite losing star Albert Pujols and manager Tony La Russa.

    NOTES: Nationals OF Roger Bernadina was in the original lineup, but was replaced by Corey Brown. A native of Curacao, Bernadina had flown home after the death of his father and had not rejoined the team by the start of game, though he was in the locker room after it had already started. ... Westbrook isn't scheduled to pitch on April 9, but likely will stay with the team and get his throwing in on the side. ... The Cardinals switched things up as Jose Oquendo coached first base and Chris Maloney worked the third base box. Matheny said he wanted to have an open line of communication with Maloney in the event Oquendo is ever ejected or is absent for some reason.

     
    Copyright 2014 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
    Rafael Furcal, SS3000010 .180
        Tyler Greene, SS2010002 .268
    Jon Jay, CF3010010 .254
        Shane Robinson, CF2000001 .244
    Carlos Beltran, RF2000111 .340
        Eugenio Velez, RF2000011 .130
    Lance Berkman, 1B3010002 .324
        Steve Hill, PR-1B2110000 .273
    Matt Carpenter, 3B3110112 .377
    Tony Cruz, C4130002 .387
    Erik Komatsu, LF4211014 .278
    Daniel Descalso, 2B4124002 .288
    Jake Westbrook, P3001001 .000
        Kyle McClellan, P0000000 .000
       a- Ryan Jackson, PH1010000 .316
        Marc Rzepczynski, P0000000 .000
        Mitchell Boggs, P0000000 .000
    Totals38612626  
    a-singled for McClellan in the 8th
    Batting
    2B - Tyler Greene (6, Lannan), Daniel Descalso 2 (6, Strasburg, Lannan)
    RBI - Erik Komatsu (9), Daniel Descalso 4 (9), Jake Westbrook (1)
    2-OUT RBI - Erik Komatsu (3), Daniel Descalso 2 (4)
    Team LOB - 7
    Fielding
    DP - Descalso-Furcal-Berkman, Descalso-T. Greene-Hill
    E - Jake Westbrook (1, Throwing)
    St. Louis Cardinals
    PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
    Jake Westbrook (W,2-1) 5.2211341 1.50
    Kyle McClellan (H,4) 1.1100010 2.53
    Marc Rzepczynski (H,4) 1100010 2.45
    Mitchell Boggs 1211010 4.91
    Pitches-Strikes - Jake Westbrook 39-27, Kyle McClellan 6-6, Marc Rzepczynski 6-6, Mitchell Boggs 7-7
    Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jake Westbrook 6-7, Kyle McClellan 2-0, Marc Rzepczynski 2-0, Mitchell Boggs 1-1
    Batters Faced - Jake Westbrook 22, Kyle McClellan 4, Marc Rzepczynski 4, Mitchell Boggs 5
    Washington Nationals
    HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
    Stephen Lombardozzi, 2B4010020 .317
    Danny Espinosa, SS4000012 .224
        Brad Lidge, P0000000 .000
    Chad Tracy, 3B-1B4121001 .254
    Jayson Werth, RF1000201 .227
        Wade Moore, PR-LF1000000 .000
    Adam LaRoche, 1B2000122 .267
        Josh Johnson, 3B1110000 .429
    Jesus Flores, C3010003 .304
        Sean Burnett, P0000000 .000
        Jason Martinson, SS1000011 .000
    Corey Brown, CF4011002 .310
    Brett Carroll, LF-RF4000001 .220
    Stephen Strasburg, P1000010 .400
        John Lannan, P1000000 .000
        Carlos Maldonado, C1000000 .353
    Totals3226237  
    Batting
    2B - Josh Johnson (1, Boggs)
    HR - Chad Tracy (3, Westbrook)
    RBI - Chad Tracy (15), Corey Brown (5)
    2-OUT RBI - Chad Tracy (7), Corey Brown (1)
    Team LOB - 6
    Fielding
    DP - Lombardozzi-Espinosa-LaRoche
    E - Brett Carroll (2, Throwing)
    Washington Nationals
    PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
    Stephen Strasburg (L,1-4) 4532130 4.18
    John Lannan 3533120 5.14
    Sean Burnett 1200010 1.13
    Brad Lidge 1000000 1.00
    Pitches-Strikes - Stephen Strasburg 27-22, John Lannan 22-18, Sean Burnett 7-7, Brad Lidge 3-3
    Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Stephen Strasburg 7-1, John Lannan 5-2, Brad Lidge 3-0
    Batters Faced - Stephen Strasburg 17, John Lannan 15, Sean Burnett 5, Brad Lidge 3
    Game Information
    Attendance - 5913
    Game Time - 2:32
    Temperature - 81
    Umpires - Home - Mark Lollo, First Base - Greg Gibson, Second Base - UMP Nonindividual, Third Base - UMP Nonindividual