Nova allowed one run on three hits in three innings, and the Cardinals scored three times in the ninth to beat the Yankees 7-6 Thursday. "I feel really good right now. I was throwing strikes today," Nova said. "The base hits were groundballs. It's not like they are doubles. If I give a base hit on the ground, that's good."
New York manager Joe Girardi liked what he saw.
"He was pretty good, I thought," he said. "His curveball was excellent. He threw a couple really good sliders. I thought the command of his fastball was pretty good. Good stuff for him."
Pete Kozma and Daniel Descalso homered later for the Cardinals, set to play the whole season without All-Star shortstop Rafael Furcal.
Before the game, the Cardinals said Furcal will undergo ligament replacement surgery in his right elbow and expects to miss the year.
Kozma, Furcal's likely replacement, hit a solo home run in the fifth inning and also singled. Descalso, who could also see time at short, hit a two-run homer in the seventh.
St. Louis rallied in the ninth. Kolten Wong hit a tying, two-run homer and a pair of errors set up Adron Chambers' winning single.
Joe Kelly's audition for the Cardinals' rotation didn't go so well. He struggled to locate the strike zone, walking three batters and missing the strike zone with almost half of his 46 pitches.
"My stuff felt alive," Kelly said. "I was a little erratic in the beginning. My timing was a little off. Take the positive out of it. I threw my changeup over. My curveball was better. They weren't biting at it, but it wasn't in the dirt like my first outing."
Kelly had been battling Trevor Rosenthal and Shelby Miller to be the fifth starter. A day earlier, manager Mike Matheny said Rosenthal would spend the remainder of the spring working as reliever.
Rosenthal and his triple-digit fastball were playoff sensations out of the bullpen following a late-season call-up last season. St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak said he would be "shocked" if Rosenthal didn't make the club as a reliever out of spring training.
NOTES: Yankees SS Derek Jeter went to Charlotte, N.C., for a scheduled visit to see Dr. Robert Anderson, the surgeon who did the surgery on his ankle last October. Jeter is expected to be in camp on Friday in Tampa, Fla. Jeter has been cleared by doctors to return to the field for full activities. Girardi said he didn't know how long it will be until Jeter sees game action, but believes he will likely get some at-bats before taking the field. ... Matheny was having X-rays on his ailing back. ... The Cardinals played minus outfielder Matt Holliday, who was sent home prior to the game with a stomach virus. ... St. Louis 3B David Freese said he expects to make the trip to play the Nationals on Friday and will likely DH. Freese hasn't played since Monday when he bruised his tail bone falling into the stands trying to catch a foul ball. ... Shelby Miller starts for the Cardinals on Friday against Washington. ... Yankees RHP David Robertson will miss a couple more days with a sore shoulder. ... Yankees reliever Clay Rapada won't be throwing for the next seven to 10 days because of bursitis in his shoulder.
Link to box score: Cardinals 7, Yankees 6