Postcard from Cardinals spring training camp for Sunday, March 19, 2023

Postcard from Cardinals spring training camp for Sunday, March 19, 2023

Weather: 63 degrees, cloudy

Result: Cardinals 8, Mets 7

By Rob Rains

JUPITER, Fla. – One of the roster decisions facing the Cardinals as the last week of spring training begins concerns pitcher Dakota Hudson.

Not expected to be part of the starting rotation, Hudson got the start against the Mets on Sunday in Port St. Lucie, hoping to show that he should be one of the eight relievers on the opening-day roster.

He likely didn’t help his cause with a rough outing.

Hudson gave up a leadoff homer and the Mets went on to score five runs in the first inning before the Cardinals rallied for the win.

The Mets hit for the cycle off Hudson in the first inning as he allowed five hits and also walked a batter before getting out of the inning.

Hudson did recover after that and was able to pitch into the fourth inning and kept the Mets from adding to their lead.

The five runs increased Hudson’s ERA for the spring to 6.23.

Here is how Sunday’s game broke down:

High: In a rally that featured mainly players headed for the minor leagues the Cardinals came back from a 5-2 deficit with two runs in the seventh and four in the eighth to get the win.

Low: Hudson retired only two of the first eight batters he faced in the first inning.

At the plate: Nolan Gorman started the Cardinals’ comeback with a two-run homer in the fifth, his third of the spring … Alec Burleson, who is fighting for a roster spot, singled in two runs in the seventh, his second day in a row with two RBIs … Jordan Walker had a double in four at-bats, scoring on Gorman’s homer … Andrew Knizner, trying to win the backup catcher’s job, was hitless in five at-bats, dropping his spring average to .111.

On the mound: Hudson allowed 10 hits and walked two in his 3 2/3 innings. He threw 77 pitches, only 47 of which were strikes … Zack Thompson worked 1 1/3 scoreless innings and has not allowed a run in eight innings this spring … Packy Naughton also had a scoreless inning before Chris Stratton gave up a two-run homer.

Worth noting: Paul DeJong hit in the cage for the second day in a row on Sunday as he tries to recover from lower back tightness He hopes, as do the Cardinals, that he will be able to play in a game within the next couple of days … Taylor Motter got the start at shortstop on Sunday, the first time he has played the position this spring. One of the roster decisions the Cardinals will have to make as they set their opening day roster is if they will carry another backup infielder other than Brendan Donovan, with Gorman proving this spring he can play third base in addition to second.

Up next: Jake Woodford, who has been one of the best pitchers on the staff this spring, will get the start on Monday when the Cardinals host the Marlins in Jupiter. In 12 2/3 innings Woodford has a 2.84 ERA while recording 11 strikeouts.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

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