Game Observations - March 13

Live updates from Jupiter all afternoon.

Cardinals win 7-3. Same teams Monday. Jeff Suppan starts for the Redbirds.

Interviews coming later include David Eckstein, Carmen Cali and Dave McKay on baserunning drills.

Today's Jupiter lineup
Eckstein, Taguchi, Pujols, Sanders, Berger, Grudzielanek, Mabry, Molina and Mulder.

Players to Ft. Lauderdale for split squad game
Pitchers: Flores, Journell, Al Reyes, An. Reyes (starter), Rust, File, Gissell, Thompson.
Hitters: Diaz, Mahoney, Hart, Luna, Duncan, Ankiel, Cedeno, Edmonds, Gall, Gorecki, Walker, Schumaker.
Coaches: La Russa, Pettini

Hagin to assist Birdhouse in 2005
Cardinals co-radio voice Wayne Hagin will be filing regular reports about the team throughout the rest of spring training and the 2005 regular season. If you haven't yet signed up for the Birdhouse and's Insider package, what are you waiting for?

On to the game…

Braves strike first
Chipper Jones doubled home Rafael Furcal in the first for the first run of the game. Chipper's line shot handcuffed Reggie Sanders, who blocked the ball as he fell awkwardly, running toward the baseline.

Mini Combatants
When 5'-7" David Eckstein stepped in against 5'-10" Mike Hampton, it had to be one of the shorter combinations in recent memory. Eck got the best of the matchup both times, drawing a walk and getting hit by a pitch.

Mulder on the prowl
Rafael Furcal and Marcus Giles each stole bases off Mark Mulder and Yadier Molina. Mulder seems to need to pay more attention to baserunners. As a lefty, he is staring right at the runner as he prepares to come to the plate. Mulder fanned Chipper Jones swinging to end the third and reached base as the first batter in the bottom of the frame as his hot shot to third was muffed by Wilson Betemit. He scored on a Pujols ground out to tie the game.

Welcome to the bigs, son
New Baltimore Oriole Sammy Sosa hit a two-run home run off Anthony Reyes in the other split-squad game in Ft. Lauderdale. Reyes gave up four hits and fanned four, walking none. John Gall had two standout plays in the field. Scott Seabol has two hits.

Mabry goes deep
Third baseman John Mabry slammed his second home run of the spring and his second hit of the spring when he homered on a 0-1 count off Hampton with two out in the bottom of the fourth. That gave the Cards a 2-1 lead.

Hammer Hampton takes it back
Hampton homered over the left-center field fence with a runner on base in the top of the fifth to retake the lead for the Braves. Mulder then allowed hits to Rafael Furcal and Nick Green, but Yadier Molina gunned each of them down trying to take second. Mulder had thrown 65 pitches on the day, of which 43 were strikes. Julian Tavarez warmed up. Mulder allowed seven hits but walked no one. All three runs were earned.

So gapper and gaffer
Ecstein reached for the third consecutive time with a walk in the fifth and scored on a gapper to left-center by So Taguchi. That re-tied the game at 3-3. So was thrown out trying to steal third with Albert up and one out. That may never happen again.

Sanders and Grudz excel
Old man Reggie Sanders singled and stole second in the sixth. He came home on a gapper to left-center by Mark Grudzielanek. Right fielder Kelly Johnson got turned around on a shot by Yadier Molina that was graciously scored a double. That increased the score to 5-3.

2110 wins in the dugout
Even with Tony La Russa out of town, Jose Oquendo had lots of help. He may have been the manager of record in Jupiter on Sunday, but with Red Schoendienst and Jim Leyland in the Cardinals dugout with him, he had the benefit of 2110 wins of experience (1041 for Red + 1069 for Leyland). La Russa just shaded the two combined, as he has 2114 regular season wins.

Split squad update
Scott Rolen homered in the bottom of the sixth, making the score 5-1 Orioles.

Izzy escapes
Jason Isringhausen loaded the bases in the seventh, but fanned Wilson Betemit with the bases loaded to escape the jam. As promised, I thanked Izzy before the game for agreeing to the adjusted contract and extension. He seemed a bit frustrated that the press unfairly characterized the deal as three years for $25 million. I assured him that Birdhouse readers knew better. Chris Carpenter, sitting on the next stool, just grinned.

Bell rings
Mike Bell walked and took third on a wild pitch in the home seventh against Brave Jorge Vazquez. Wilton Guerrero singled him home. Cards 6-3.

Big crowd
The standing-room-only crowd at Roger Dean was announced at 7374.

Yes, it is spring
Pinch-hitter Dan Moylan homered to right leading off the eighth. The 25-year-old catcher played at Tennessee last season and has a total of eight home runs in five minor league campaigns. Cards win 7-3.

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