JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Jake Westbrook showed no ill effects of the bruised knee that forced him to leave his first spring start after one inning, limiting the Miami Marlins to a run and four hits over three innings of the St. Louis Cardinals’ 7-2 win Wednesday.
Matt Holliday had a two-run homer, one of five long balls for the Cardinals. Top prospect Oscar Taveras put St. Louis on top in the second inning, connecting for a two-run homer to center field off Tom Koehler.
Ronny Cedeno, Matt Adams and Rob Johnson also homered for St. Louis.
Koehler didn’t help his effort to make the ball club, failing to get out of the third inning. Koehler allowed four runs, seven hits and walked two batters in 2 1-3 innings.
Phillies 6, Nationals 3
CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — Roy Halladay outpitched Stephen Strasburg in a marquee matchup that became a bit testy as the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Washington Nationals 6-3 Wednesday.
With one out and runners on the corners in the third inning, Washington’s Strasburg hit Chase Utley in the lower left leg with a pitch. After getting two quick outs in the fourth, the Phillies’ Halladay threw a pitch behind Tyler Moore.
The Nationals won their first NL title last season, ending the Philadelphia’s five-year run atop the division.
The 36-year-old Halladay allowed two hits, a walk and struck out two in four scoreless innings for Philadelphia. The 24-year-old Strasburg gave up two runs, five hits and a walk in 3 2-3 innings. He had one strike out.
Puerto Rico 8, Twins 7
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Angel Pagan led an All-Star lineup for Puerto Rico’s national team by going 2 for 3 with an RBI in an 8-7 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday in a tuneup for the World Baseball Classic.
Pagan, who led the National League with 15 triples last season for the San Francisco Giants, had a double and also scored a run. Fellow outfielder Carlos Beltran of the St. Louis Cardinals had one of Puerto Rico’s 17 hits.
Twins starter Vance Worley gave up six hits and three runs in 3 1-3 innings.
Aaron Hicks, the front-runner to be Minnesota’s center fielder, led off the first with a home run and went 2 for 2 with two runs scored.
Puerto Rico’s first game in the WBC is against Spain on Friday.
Orioles 19, Spain 7
SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — Jake Arrieta allowed one unearned run in three innings and Russ Canzler had two home runs and drove in six runs as the Baltimore Orioles routed Spain’s World Baseball Classic team 19-7 on Wednesday.
Arrieta, who is competing for the fifth starter’s spot, allowed three hits and the unearned run. He walked one and struck out two.
On Tuesday, Spain lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates 10-0.
The Orioles scored nine runs in the sixth inning to break the game open.
Canzler, who is competing for a roster spot as a utility player, hit a two-run home run, off starter Richard Salazar in the first. He added a sacrifice fly in the second and a three-run home run in the fourth.
Salazar was drafted by the Orioles in 2001.
Venezuela 14, Mets 10
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) — Jonathon Niese struggled against Venezuela’s All-Star lineup Wednesday, allowing four runs in the New York Mets’ 14-10 loss to the World Baseball Classic squad playing its final tuneup for the World Baseball Classic.
Niese gave up an RBI double to Carlos Gonzalez in the first and was replaced after giving up a second run on a walk and two hits in the third inning. Two more runs scored after his exit. He gave up six hits, walked two and struck out one in 2 1-3 innings.
Miguel Cabrera homered twice for Venezuela’s starting lineup that featured five 2012 All-Stars at the top of the order. Elvis Andrus, Asdrubal Cabrera, Miguel Cabrera, Pablo Sandoval and Gonzalez combined for 10 hits. Cabrera connected in the fourth and fifth innings.
Marlon Byrd capped a seven-run fifth inning for the Mets with a three-run homer.
Dominican Republic 8, Yankees 2
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — New York right-hander Hiroki Kuroda temporarily slowed down the heavy-hitting Dominican Republic World Baseball Classic team, allowing two hits over three scoreless innings in the Yankees’ 8-2 loss on Wednesday.
The Dominican Republic opens WBC play Thursday night against Venezuela at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Jose Reyes, Robinson Cano and Hanley Ramirez each homered in the Dominican Republic’s 28-hit, 15-2 victory over the Philadelpahia Phillies on Tuesday in the first of two exhibition games.
After the game, the Yankees announced that first baseman Mark Teixeira will be out eight to 10 weeks with a strained tendon in his right wrist. He was hurt swinging a bat in an indoor cage Tuesday while with the United States’ WBC team.
Tigers 4, Blue Jays 1
LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — Torii Hunter hit his first home run with the Detroit Tigers, Justin Verlander allowed one hit in four innings and the Detroit Tigers beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-1 on Wednesday.
Hunter, who left the Los Angeles Angels as a free agent last winter, homered off Blue Jays reliever Michael Schwimer. The homer raised Hunter’s spring batting average to .261.
Verlander lowered his spring ERA to 1.00 in his longest outing of the spring. He walked one and struck out three.
Brandon Morrow started for Toronto and allowed one unearned run in two innings while striking out three. Jim Negrych homered for the Blue Jays on a day when wind played havoc with fly balls. Toronto committed two errors and allowed two more fly balls land for hits that were misplayed in the the windy conditions.
Pirates 9, Red Sox 3
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Boston starter Jon Lester pitched four innings of two-hit ball Wednesday as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Red Sox 9-3.
Lester allowed one run and three walks while striking out three. He is projected to start on opening day for Boston.
Pirates starter Jeff Locke also gave up one run in four innings. He walked two and struck out three.
Andrew McCutchen drove in two runs for Pittsburgh.
Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright permitted five runs on five hits and three walks in two innings. He was watched by former Boston knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, who started out as an infielder in the Pirates’ organization before becoming a pitcher.