The Cardinals Spring Training Notebook 03/14

The Cardinals improved to 10-4-1 with a split-squad doubleheader sweep over the Baltimore Orioles in Friday's Grapefruit League action. Outfielder Chris Duncan continues to pound the ball, going 2-for-4 with a couple of RBIs in Game Two. Duncan's line this spring is .353/.410/.618, meaning if you read between the lines, somebody else is going be playing at Memphis soon.

GAME ONE: Undaunted by the curse of Friday the 13th, St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Khalil Greene hit a two-run homer and minor league outfielder Jon Jay went 3-for-5 with two runs scored to lead the Cards past the Orioles, 6-5. Utility infielder Joe Thurston, playing at third, had three hits as he continues to make a strong case for the Cardinals keeping him when the team breaks camp, later this month.

Starter Kyle McClellan pitched three innings in his third appearance this spring, allowing one run on four hits and a walk. Closer candidate Chris Perez earned the save despite giving up two runs in the ninth. Perez has given up three earned runs in five innings pitched this spring on four hits and three walks, while striking out just three. Perez has a record of, 0-0, 5.40 ERA, with one save, this spring. Considered the early front runner for the closer's role, Perez has struggled with a bone spur in his ankle, and could end up starting the season at Triple-A Memphis, if his game doesn't show signs of improvement over the next two weeks.

GAME TWO: Outfielders Rick Ankiel and Ryan Ludwick each had a pair of hits and a run scored, as the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Baltimore Orioles 3-1 to sweep Friday's doubleheader.

Cardinals' outfielder Chris Duncan, who is batting .353/.410/.618 in Grapefruit League action, went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs. Starter Joel Pineiro scattered five hits while striking out four and walking none to earned his second win of the spring. Minor league pitcher P.J. Walters tossed three innings of shutout relief, giving up two hits and no walks. He struck out the side in the seventh in recording five strikeouts.

KISSELL WINNER: Batavia manager Mark DeJohn is the winner of the 2008 George Kissell Award presented to the Cardinals minor league staffer who exhibits excellence in player development. The award was named after George Kissell, a longtime Cardinal player, coach, instructor and mentor who passed away in October. The award was presented yesterday during orientation for minor league players. The award was established in 1995, but this was the first year that all minor league field personnel had a vote to determine the Kissell Award winner.

JOEY BOMBS: Joe Mather belted a two-run, walk-off home run Thursday to give the Cards a 4-2 win against visiting Boston. Mather's 13 RBI this spring was tops in all of baseball before Friday's games.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: .353, Chris Duncan and Khalil Greene are both hitting .353 this spring and they lead the team in total bases with 21 & 20 respectively.

SPRING RUNS: Prior to Friday's doubleheader, the Cardinals' 94 runs scored were tops among National League teams with only the Cactus League Royals, with 95, having scored more runs as a team.

COMING UP: The Cardinals host the Braves at 1:05 p.m. ET on Saturday at Roger Dean Stadium. The Cardinals will send Adam Wainwright to the mound to face Atlanta's Kenshin Kawakami.


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