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St. Louis at Houston

Adams homers, Wacha goes 7, Cardinals beat Astros


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KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) Matt Adams hit a homered among his two hits and drove in three runs, lead the St. Louis Cardinals past the Houston Astros, 5-2, Saturday.

Michael Wacha gave up two runs in seven innings, his longest outing of the spring. He allowed two runs and struck out eight without allowing a walk.

''I'm pretty happy with how it's going,'' Wacha said. I am just stretching myself out. I'll be ready in two weeks.''

Mark Ellis played three innings at second base for the Cardinals. He is competing with Kolten Wong for the starting job at second base. Ellis is recovering from left knee tendinitis. He was signed as a free agent from the Los Angeles Dodgers during the off season. He had a hit and scored a run in three at-bats.

''I feel good and better than ever,'' said Ellis, who batted .270 in 46 games for the Dodgers last season. ''I just want to keep progressing and getting better.''

Brett Oberholtzer, who was named the No. 3 starter in the Astros' rotation, allowed five runs in five innings as his ERA rose to 11.00.

Jose Altuve homered for the Astros.

STARTING TIME

Cardinals: Manager Mike Matheny said that Wacha is ready to start the season right now. ''He had a nice game and he's ready,'' Matheny said. ''He has made some adjustments and when you have no walks in two straight games, that's pretty good.''

Wacha has a 1.76 ERA this spring and hasn't allowed a walk in 10 2-3 innings.

Astros: Oberholtzer said he isn't concerned about his inflated ERA and is ready for opening day. He will follow Scott Feldman and Jarred Cosart in the Astros' rotation. The final two spots haven't been named.

Oberholtzer gave up four runs in the first inning, but still went a spring-high five innings.

''I had a rough first inning, but I was satisfied after that,'' Oberholtzer said. ''During the course of a season, that is going to happen. I got some pitches up, but I'm still preparing for opening day.''

WHAT A RELIEF

Astros reliever Chad Qualls pitched an inning with one strikeout. He is a candidate to be the Astros closer, but said he has no idea how the scenario will play out.

''You have to go two doors down,'' said Qualls, pointing toward manager Bo Porter's office. ''Who knows. I feel good. I am locating my pitches and getting my fastball over.''

Qualls went 5-2 with a 2.61 ERA for the Miami Marlins last season.

BIG IMPRESSION

The Cardinals' Keith Butler allowed onoe hit in an inning of relief. His Grapefruit League ERA is 8.64 but Matheny said he was impressed by Butler.

''He was really crowding the zone with his fastball,'' Matheny said. ''I haven't seen that from him before. I like what I saw.''

 
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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St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Peter Bourjos, CF4010011 .300
   Thomas Pham, CF1000010 .000
Mark Ellis, 2B3110002 .304
   Greg Garcia, 2B2000000 .313
Matt Carpenter, 3B3110101 .226
   Scott Moore, 3B1000000 .222
Matt Adams, DH3223002 .310
   a-Joey Butler, PH-DH1000000 .211
Stephen Piscotty, RF4111010 .333
Randal Grichuk, LF4000021 .250
Tony Cruz, C3021101 .200
   Ed Easley, C0000000 .333
Xavier Scruggs, 1B4000004 .207
Aledmys Diaz, SS3010010 .600
   Pete Kozma, SS1000001 .200
Michael Wacha, P0000000 .000
   Keith Butler, P0000000 .000
   Seth Maness, P0000000 .000
Totals3759526  
a-grounded out for Adams in the 7th
Batting
2B - Matt Adams (2, Oberholtzer), Stephen Piscotty (3, Oberholtzer)
HR - Matt Adams (3, Oberholtzer)
RBI - Matt Adams 3 (9), Stephen Piscotty (7), Tony Cruz (1)
2-OUT RBI - Tony Cruz (1)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Kozma-G. Garcia-Scruggs
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Michael Wacha (W,3-0) 7422081 1.76
Keith Butler (H,4) 1100000 8.64
Seth Maness (S,1) 1000010 7.45
Pitches-Strikes - Michael Wacha 41-40, Keith Butler 3-3, Seth Maness 5-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Michael Wacha 5-7, Keith Butler 2-0, Seth Maness 2-0
Batters Faced - Michael Wacha 24, Keith Butler 3, Seth Maness 3
Houston Astros
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Adron Chambers, RF4000010 .278
Dexter Fowler, CF4120000 .275
Robbie Grossman, LF3010011 .389
   Austin Wates, LF1000010 .000
Jose Altuve, 2B3111012 .250
Marc Krauss, DH2001020 .324
Jesus Guzman, 1B3000000 .167
Marwin Gonzalez, 3B3010000 .436
Carlos Perez, C2000010 .333
   Rene Garcia, C1000001 .125
Jonathan Villar, SS3000020 .231
Brett Oberholtzer, P0000000 .000
   Chad Qualls, P0000000 .000
   Matt Albers, P0000000 .000
   Josh Fields, P0000000 .000
   Ross Seaton, P0000000 .000
Totals2925209  
Batting
HR - Jose Altuve (1, Wacha)
SF - Marc Krauss (1)
RBI - Jose Altuve (2), Marc Krauss (4)
PK - Jose Altuve (2, Wacha)
Team LOB - 1
Fielding
E - Jonathan Villar (6, Throwing)
Houston Astros
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Brett Oberholtzer (L,0-2) 5855231 11.00
Chad Qualls 1000010 5.14
Matt Albers 1000000 2.57
Josh Fields 1100010 1.29
Ross Seaton 1000010 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Brett Oberholtzer 39-30, Chad Qualls 5-5, Matt Albers 3-3, Josh Fields 6-6, Ross Seaton 5-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brett Oberholtzer 5-8, Chad Qualls 2-0, Matt Albers 2-1, Josh Fields 1-1, Ross Seaton 1-1
Batters Faced - Brett Oberholtzer 26, Chad Qualls 3, Matt Albers 3, Josh Fields 4, Ross Seaton 3
Game Information
Attendance - 5115
Game Time - 2:26
Temperature - 78
Umpires - Home - Larry Vanover, First Base - Greg Gibson, Second Base - Ump. Nonindividual, Third Base - A.J. Johnson