Henderson Alvarez pitches three perfect innings in Marlins win
JUPITER, Fla. --Henderson Alvarez retired all nine batters he faced in his first start since pitching a no-hitter on the final day last season, leading the Miami Marlins to a 7-3 victory over a Cardinals split-squad Friday.
Alvarez was slowed this spring by a shin infection. He hasn't allowed a run since Sept. 24 or a hit in 12 consecutive innings.
''I felt good,'' said Alvarez, who only needed 26 pitches. ''I was just trying to keep the ball in the zone, let the batters swing, just throw strikes.''
Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright was equally efficient in his first start of spring training. Wainwright faced the minimum in two innings while striking out one. The right-hander needed only 25 pitches to get through the first two innings.
''I didn't go out there and try to blow anything out,'' Wainwright said. ''I wanted to be very under control and tried to finish square -- and for the most part I did.''
Wainwright was slated to make his first appearance Thursday at Minnesota, but that game was rained out. He will pitch again Tuesday, working on three days' rest, to get him back on track to start opening day.
Cardinals: Lynn was originally scheduled to make his second spring start, but Thursday's rainout prompted St. Louis to piggyback Lynn on Adam Wainwright's start. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny hoped Lynn would give him three innings but Lynn lasted only 1.1.
Marlins: Manager Mike Redmond said Alvarez's no-hitter was the highlight of a rough 2013 season and started a productive offseason for Miami.
''We all drew momentum and kind of got a big lift from that game,'' he said.
Cardinals: The team is being cautious with center fielder Peter Bourjos' hamstring, holding him out of both split-squad games on Friday. Matheny said Bourjos isn't experiencing any weakness and wanted to play on Friday.
Closer Trevor Rosenthal (groin) has been cleared to play and could see his first action of the spring on Saturday against Washington.
Marlins: Second baseman Rafael Furcal missed Friday's action to be with his wife, who gave birth to their son earlier in the morning. Redmond said Furcal should be back in camp on Sunday.
St. Louis top prospect Oscar Taveras made his Grapefruit League debut as part of the split-squad that traveled to face the Mets. Matheny also made that trip and said the idea of getting a firsthand look at Taveras factored in the decision.
The rookie went 1 for 3 with a double and scored a run.
Taveras had offseason surgery on his ankle.
PLAYING DRESS UP
Marlins catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia stole pitcher Jose Fernandez's purple jeans and gold high-top sneakers, then wore them to the Marlins pregame stretch, prompting at least one person to wonder whether the Marlins had signed recording artist Prince.
ON THE BOARD
Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich was hitless spring until he singled to center off Wainwright in the first inning, breaking an 0-for-11 slump. Yelich ended the day 2 for 2 with a walk.