Postcard from Cardinals spring training camp for Sunday, March 26, 2023

Postcard from Cardinals spring training camp for Sunday, March 26, 2023

Result: Astros 24, Cardinals 1

By Rob Rains

With all of the new rules implemented by Major League Baseball this spring, the Cardinals likely would have been in favor of another one on Sunday – borrowing the mercy rule from the World Baseball Classic.

The Cardinals fell behind the Astros 8-1 after two innings, trailed 13-1 after the fifth and 15-1 after the seventh before a nine-run eighth inning completed the blowout loss in West Palm Beach.

Jack Flaherty was charged with the first six Houston runs, although three of them scored after he left with the bases loaded in the second inning.

The only two position players in the starting lineup who made the opening day roster were Dylan Carlson and Andrew Knizner, with the rest of the lineup made up of minor-leaguers.

Here is how Sunday’s game broke down:

High: One of the minor-leaguers, Jacob Buchberger, got a chance to play in his first game of the spring and collected a pinch-hit single.

Low: One day after being named to the opening-day roster, Packy Naughton retired only two of the nine hitters he faced.

At the plate: Carlson went 1-of-3 and Knizner had one hit in his two at-bats and also was hit by a pitch … Kramer Robertson had the only RBI.

On the mound: Flaherty only allowed four hits but walked three and hit two batters. Because of the re-entry rule he was able to come out of the game in the second but came back in the third and retired the final six hitters he faced … Naughton was charged with five runs, allowing five hits and a walk … Zack Thompson retired all four hitters he faced and did not allow a run all spring.

Up next: The Cardinals bussed across the state to Sarasota after the game where they will wrap up spring training with a game on Monday against the Orioles. Jordan Montgomery will get the start.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

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