Cardinals Dominate Marlins with 12-3 Victory

The St. Louis Cardinals continued their Spring Training dominance over the Florida Marlins Sunday with a huge 12-3 victory. Starting pitcher Scott Olsen (0-2) of the Marlins' took the loss.

The game was St. Louis' best performance in the Grapefruit League season thus far. Most of the Cardinals' pitchers and hitters impressed greatly, and the team got it done with their gloves, as well.

Starting pitcher Anthony Reyes (1-0) pitched two innings, allowing no hits and giving up two walks while earning his first win in Spring Training games.

Brad Thompson came in for the third, fourth, and fifth innings, where he retired all nine batters he faced. The team carried a no-hitter into the bottom of the sixth inning, when Chris Lambert gave up a double to Marlins' center fielder Alex Sanchez.

Tyler Johnson and Josh Hancock retired all the batters they faced. In fact, it wasn't until the bottom of the ninth that any Cardinals' pitcher started to struggle. Andy Cavazos gave up three consecutive singles to shortstop Robert Andino, second baseman Joe Dillon, and former Cardinal third baseman Scott Seabol. Two of the Marlins' three runs were charged to Cavazos when first baseman Jason Stokes' sacrifice fly brought in Andino and designated hitter Brett Carroll's single scored Dillon. The other run scored by Florida came off of Lambert in the sixth inning, when second baseman Dan Uggla's sac fly scored Sanchez.

The Cardinals were able to get 27 batters on base via 14 hits and five errors on the behalf of the Marlins. It was the usual suspects doing the damage for St. Louis on Sunday. Leading the way was Chris Duncan, Albert Pujols, and Scott Rolen. Duncan went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBIs. Pujols was 2-for-3 with one RBI, increasing his average to .273 in the Grapefruit League. Rolen was also 2-for-3 at the plate with one RBI, pushing his batting average up to .333. Miguel Negron (1-for-3, two runs scored), John Rodriguez (1-for-1, one RBI), Skip Schumaker (1-for-4, one run scored), Ryan Ludwick (1-for-2, one RBI, one run scored), Gary Bennett (1-for-3, one run scored), and Brendan Ryan (2-for-5, one RBI, one run scored) also helped increase the Cardinals' run total to twelve. It seemed as if everyone got in on the action Sunday, including Colby Rasmus, who scored a run after he reached base on an error.

The Cardinals scored their runs in spurts, with two coming in the second inning, three in the fourth, one in the sixth, and sixth coming in the eighth frame. The Cardinals capitlized on the Marlins' defensive mistakes (as mentioned before, there were five Florida errors, including two by star third baseman Miguel Cabrera). St. Louis has obviously been the better team thus far against the Marlins in Spring Training, as the Cardinals are 3-2 overall, with all three wins coming against the Marlins.

The Cardinals will take on the Houston Astros Monday at 12:05 P.M.

GAME NOTES:

-Chris Duncan has improved his defense quite a bit over Spring Training. A strong wind was blowing in from left field all day, and Duncan was able to make two straight tough catches in the wind in the bottom of the fourth.

-The Cardinals' pitching staff continues to impress. All the possible starters have now made Spring Training starts, and so far, the worst performance came from Chris Carpenter against the Mets. If Carpenter put out the worst start, there isn't a whole lote to worry about. Reyes did well on Sunday, and Wells did wonderful on Saturday, both games against the Marlins. Wainwright was fine in his debut as a Cardinals' starter. Looper made his first career start and pitched about average, but his start was somewhat better than that of those by pitcher Jason Marquis last season.

-Albert Pujols started off slow, but has come around the last two games he has played in. No monster home runs yet, but things will change once the season starts.

-Today's player of the game is Chris Duncan, who knocked in and scored two runs while showing improving defense in left field.


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