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St. Louis at Houston

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St. Louis (5-7) «030200100693
Houston (7-7)000000400490

Wacha strikes out 5 in 3 2-3 innings for St. Louis


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KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) Michael Wacha struck out five in 3 2-3 scoreless innings Friday and Matt Carpenter and Xavier Scruggs each drove in two runs for the St. Louis Cardinals in a 6-4 win over the Houston Astros.

Wacha, the 22-year-old right-hander who won four postseason games for St. Louis last fall, gave up three singles in his third start of the spring. He mixed in his cutter this time, saying he used six or seven.

''I feel I needed something to go along with the curveball and changeup, just to put something in the back of their heads,'' Wacha said. ''Hopefully it'll catch `em off guard.''

He used ''six or seven'' against the Astros and says he has complete confidence in the new pitch.

Manager Mike Matheny said Wacha ''fooled around with it a little'' last season, but he didn't have much time to experiment down the stretch in September, when he filled in for the Cardinals.

So far, Wacha isn't even penciled into the rotation this year yet.

''We're just not in a big hurry to make that statement,'' said Matheny, who is stretching out six pitchers halfway through spring training.

After striking out the side in the first inning, Houston starter Jarred Cosart gave up five hits and five earned runs in 3 1-3 innings.

''He lost his fastball command today, got his pitch count up there,'' said Astros manager Bo Porter.

Scruggs and Carpenter had RBI hits for the Cardinals in the second inning. Kolten Wong, Scruggs and Carpenter had extra-base hits in the fourth, and Astros center fielder Dexter Fowler prevented a fourth with a running catch of Randal Grichuk's 400-foot drive to the warning track in center field.

Jon Singelton's two-run triple off reliever Tim Cooney highlighted the Astros' four-run seventh inning.

Jose Altuve and Matt Dominguez had two hits each for Houston.

STARTING TIME

Astros: Cosart gave up five hits, two walks and five earned runs in 3 1/3 innings. ''Out of the stretch my timing's a little off. That's what got me in trouble today,'' said Cosart, who is trying out a new delivery. ''It's not a major fix, just something we can talk about and build on.''

Cardinals: Matheny isn't ready to name a starting five.

''Now, we'd be lying if we didn't say Adam Wainwright didn't have a spot in this rotation,'' Matheny said. ''But after that, we show up here watching guys compete because that's what they're made to do, that what they're paid to do. And I think making any bold statement too early discourages somebody, for sure, and could distract others.''

Wacha won't be discouraged or distracted.

''I don't really look at it as seeing guys in the clubhouse and thinking: I'm competing against him for their job,'' Wacha said. ''I'm just competing within myself, I guess, just continuing to work on stuff.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

Cardinals: Matheny is concerned that outfielder Oscar Taveras, the team's top prospect, might be taking Thursday's optioning to Triple-A Memphis the wrong way. Taveras missed most of last season after ankle surgery and had hamstring trouble this spring.

''A step back is not necessarily a bad thing if it's handled the right way,'' Matheny said. ''The initial step back happened when he got hurt last year.''

NICE IMPRESSION

Marwin Gonzalez has played three infield positions with the Astros this spring and Porter said he can play all three outfield spots.

''We're going to move him around,'' Porter said. ''I told him I can't hide him.''

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
St. Louis

K. Wong
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
Houston

J. Singleton
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
 
St. Louis Cardinals
Matt Carpenter , 3B3022010.316.435.421
  Scott Moore , 3B1100101.273.304.545
Jon Jay , CF3000023.185.241.222
Matt Holliday , LF3000020.474.522.632
Matt Adams , 1B3110010.308.308.462
a-Joey Butler , PH-DH2011000.250.333.313
Yadier Molina , C2100100.348.423.391
  Travis Tartamella , C1000000.143.143.143
Kolten Wong , 2B3220000.333.400.704
  Greg Garcia , 2B1000012.364.533.364
Xavier Scruggs , 1B2112110.316.519.632
  Jonathan Rodriguez , 1B1000002.000.000.000
Randal Grichuk , RF3010004.231.300.423
Pete Kozma , SS3001004.227.261.273
James Ramsey , CF2000011.063.118.063
Stephen Piscotty , LF2010000.348.385.652
Luis Mateo , SS1000001.308.308.385
Totals366963918  
a-Doubled for M Adams in the 7th.
BATTING
2B - M Carpenter (2); M Adams (1); J Butler (1); X Scruggs (3); R Grichuk (3)
3B - K Wong (1)
RBI - M Carpenter 2 (3); J Butler (2); X Scruggs 2 (8); P Kozma (4)
St. Louis Cardinals
Michael Wacha (W,2-0) 3.23000501.08
Seth Maness 1.10000208.10
Tim Cooney 1.124313013.50
Sam Freeman 0.22000003.18
Keith Butler 1.01000006.75
Kevin Siegrist (S,2) 1.01001200.00
Houston Astros
Dexter Fowler , CF3000001.190.346.238
Jose Altuve , 2B3020000.321.321.357
Jason Castro , C3010020.316.350.737
  Marwin Gonzalez , PR-2B1110000.462.444.654
Marc Krauss , LF3000023.409.435.773
Chris Carter , DH4110011.273.273.455
Jon Singleton , 1B4112010.091.333.318
George Springer , CF2000000.200.375.240
Matt Dominguez , 3B4021021.185.290.333
  Gregorio Petit , PR0000000.267.313.400
Jonathan Villar , SS2000021.261.292.435
a-Tyler Heineman , PH-C10100001.000.6671.000
  Robbie Grossman , PR0000000.381.423.476
Adron Chambers , RF1100110.500.571.500
Delino DeShields , CF1000102.143.280.143
Cesar Izturis , SS2000015.353.353.353
J.D. Martinez , LF1000001.200.294.267
Totals3549321215  
a-Singled for J Villar in the 7th.
BATTING
2B - M Dominguez (2)
3B - J Singleton (1)
RBI - J Singleton 2 (3); M Dominguez (1)
Houston Astros
Jarred Cosart (L,1-1) 3.15552407.71
Rhiner Cruz 0.100000018.00
Raul Valdes 1.01000203.00
Mike Foltynewicz 2.13111202.16
Jorge De Leon 1.00000002.25
Josh Fields 1.00000102.25