By Rob Rains
JUPITER, Fla. – Steven Matz knows there will be better days ahead, and the good news is that those will come in games that count.
Matz made his second spring start for the Cardinals on Saturday and allowed hits to six of the first eight hitters he faced, including a three-run homer, as the Marlins went on to a 9-2 victory.
The first three hitters Matz reached on singles, followed by the homer from Jesus Aguilar as the Marlins scored six runs in the inning. Matz left with just two outs in the inning, but because of the spring training rule, he was allowed to re-enter the game and worked a scoreless second inning.
Matz will have at least one more start in Florida before likely starting the third game of the regular season.
Other news and notes from Saturday:
High: Giovanny Gallegos made his first appearance of the spring and worked a perfect inning.
Low: Tommy Edman was hitless in three at-bats, dropping his spring average to .077 with just one hit in 13 at-bats.
At the plate: Paul Goldschmidt hit his second homer of the spring as he remained the Cardinals top hitter, now with a .500 average … The Cardinals’ other RBI came on a single from Juan Yepez … They had six hits in the game, including a double by Corey Dickerson … Edmundo Sosa got the start at shortstop and was 0-of-2.
On the mound: Three of the five outs recorded by Matz came on strikeouts … Johan Oviedo allowed four hits and walked two in 2 2/3 innings, being charged with three runs, two of them earned, while also striking out three … Kodi Whitley worked a scoreless inning of relief with two strikeouts.
Off the field: The Cardinals added another candidate for the bullpen, signing right-hander Blake Parker to a minor-league contract with an invitation to the major-league camp. Parker has nine years of experience and pitched for the Indians last year … In another minor-league roster move, the team released reliever Seth Elledge … Manager Oli Marmol said Yadier Molina’s spring debut has been pushed back a day. Molina wanted to get more at-bats on the back fields on Saturday and will now play on Monday, catching Adam Wainwright.
Looking ahead: The Cardinals will face the tough task of going up against both Jacob DeGrom and Max Scherzer on Sunday when they play the Mets in Port St. Lucie. Both starters are scheduled to pitch in the same game. Dakota Hudson is scheduled to start, followed by Jake Woodford, for the Cardinals.
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