Johan, Mets remain vexed by Cards
Ace lefty victimized by spotty defense, St. Louis' timely hitting
CARDINALS 10, METS 3
at Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Saturday, March 15
Cardinals at the plate: Albert Pujols, Brian Barton, Yadier Molina and Brendan Ryan all cracked extra-base hits and drove in runs off Mets starter Johan Santana. Cards starter Adam Wainwright got into the act as well, singling in the fourth inning to prolong a two-run rally. Only third baseman Troy Glaus struggled offensively for the Cards, striking out in each of his first three at-bats.
Mets at the plate: It's a good time to be a backup catcher. A day after Robinson Cancel racked up three hits in a win over the Marlins, fellow backstop Raul Casanova curled a fifth-inning home run around the foul pole down the right-field line. Outfielder Angel Pagan singled and scored in the second to continue his torrid Grapefruit League run, and first baseman Carlos Delgado hit his first home run of the spring.
Cardinals on the mound: Wainwright continued his strong Spring Training -- his first as the unquestioned Cardinals ace -- with another five sharp inning on Saturday. Striking out three and allowing two hits, Wainwright held the Mets to two runs -- one earned -- in his five innings. Brad Thompson, competing for a spot at the back end of the rotation, allowed one run over two innings.
Mets on the mound: Santana wasn't in ace form on Saturday, and the Cardinals took advantage. He allowed four runs -- three earned -- in five innings, striking out five and walking one. Reliever Ricardo Rincon, untouched in four Grapefruit League innings entering Saturday, allowed four straight hits in the sixth inning, leading to four runs.
Grapefruit League records: Cardinals 8-9-1, Mets 9-7-1.
Up next for the Cardinals: The battle for the back of the rotation resumes on Sunday when the Cardinals come home to Roger Dean Stadium to face Tom Glavine and the Braves. Todd Wellemeyer, who is competing with Anthony Reyes and Thompson for either one or two spots in the five-man rotation, will pitch for St. Louis. First pitch is set for 12:05 p.m. CT and the game will be carried on Gameday Audio as well as KSDK TV-5 in St. Louis.
Up next for the Mets: After waiting through a bevy of delays, Pedro Martinez will make his Grapefruit League debut for the Mets on Sunday. Leading one half of a Mets split squad at home against the Tigers -- the other half will travel north to face the Astros -- Martinez will assume his place in the Spring Training rotation with only two weeks remaining on the schedule. The Tigers will counter with right-hander Yorman Bazardo in a 1:10 p.m. ET start that can be seen live on MLB.TV and heard on Gameday Audio.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.