Goldschmidt homers again, can’t wait for regular season to start

Jordan Hicks Rob Rains

JUPITER, Fla. – The regular season can’t get here fast enough for Paul Goldschmidt.

Goldschmidt hit his fourth homer of the spring on Monday to lead the Cardinals to a 4-3 win over the Nationals. The two-run homer raised his spring average to .524.

In his first at-bat of the game, Goldschmidt was robbed of a home run by former Cardinal Lane Thomas.

Other news and notes from Monday:

High: Goldschmidt leads the Grapefruit League in average, on-base percentage and OPS.

Low: Instead of the two innings he had been expected to pitch, Jordan Hicks was able to record only two outs, allowing three hits and a walk. He also had an error on a wild pickoff attempt.

At the plate: Albert Pujols had a pair of singles, one of which drove in a run … Harrison Bader had the other RBI, on a groundout, following a walk to Paul DeJong and a ground-rule double by Andrew Knizner … The Cardinals used what likely will be their opening day lineup, with Dylan Carlson leading off, Pujols hitting fifth as the DH and Tommy Edman hitting ninth.

On the mound: Hicks followed Miles Mikolas, who worked six innings in his final spring tuneup, throwing 69 pitches. The only run he allowed came on a home run by Nelson Cruz … Hicks threw 25 pitches, just 12 for strikes … Aaron Brooks relieved Hicks and got out of the seventh inning before Genesis Cabrera worked two scoreless innings.

Off the field: The Cardinals announced that righthander Andre Pallante will be added to the roster for the opening of the regular season. The team will need to make a corresponding move to open a spot on the 40-man roster. Pallante will be the 15th pitcher on the staff, added with teams being allowed to carry 28 players until May 1 … Pitcher Jake Walsh was optioned to Memphis; pitcher Connor Thomas, catcher Julio Rodriguez and infielder Cory Spangenberg were reassigned to the minor-league camp … Jack Flaherty also was placed on the injured list.

Looking ahead: The Cardinals will play their final game of the spring on Tuesday, against the Marlins with Steven Matz getting the start. The team will fly to St. Louis after the game and have a workout at Busch Stadium on Wednesday prior to opening day on Thursday against the Pirates.

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