TWINS 5, CARDINALS 3
The Cardinals suffered their fifth straight loss Sunday as they fell to the Minnesota Twins 5-3, in Grapefruit League action.
Rick Ankiel hit a two-run homer in the fifth for St. Louis while Chris Duncan recorded two hits in the contest, including a double to right in the second inning. Minor league infielder Brian Barden, a dark horse candidate to still make the team as a reserve infielder, in the game as a pinch-hitter, had a base hit and an RBI.
Starter Chris Carpenter, (2-1, 1.52 ERA) struck out seven but allowed seven hits and four runs in 4 2/3 frames to take the loss. The bullpen; Josh Kinney, Chris Perez, Trever Miller shut down the Twins for 3 1/3 innings before Jason Motte gave up a run in the eighth.
On a positive note, Carpenter stated spring training without allowing in an earned run in 19 innings, so don't get excited about Sunday's start. Carpenter is pitching better than most people expected at this point as his stock continues to climb. A "Comeback Player of the Year" award could be on the horizon.
Last spring the Cardinals posted a 17-10-2 spring record, with four games remaining in this Grapefruit League season, the Cardinals are 16-11-2.
NOTES AND QUOTES
St. Louis has played well away from the comforts of home this spring, sporting a
respectable 8-5 road mark. Three of the five losses haven't been easy, however, as the club witnessed three losses coming as the walkoff variety for the opposition, including Friday's 11-8 loss at Boston. The Red Sox hit a 3-run HR in the 10th for the win and St. Louis experienced back-to-back losses March 15-16 at Clearwater vs. PHI (2-1, 9th inning loss) and Lakeland vs. DET (7-6, 9th inning loss).
COLBY RASMUS WATCH
Rasmus, who did not start, playing in right field after Ryan Ludwick left the game, was hitless in his only at-bat.
The Cardinals return to Jupiter on Monday to face the team that shares their training complex, the Marlins, at 12:05 p.m. CT. Joel Pineiro (3-0, 1.89 ERA), the Cardinals best pitcher this spring, is set to take the mound for St. Louis and Andrew Miller takes the ball for Florida in the 12:05 p.m. contest.
The Cardinals will have to make a couple of roster decisions later this week, including; one pitcher's spot and one position player. According to Tony La Russa the decisions could come this weekend in Memphis when they play exhibition games against their Triple-A affiliate.
Broadcasts coming up; April 3 tilt, exhibition game at Memphis.
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