JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — One game into spring training and the Marlins are already down a catcher.
Jeff Mathis broke his right collarbone Saturday when he was hit by a foul ball during Miami’s 8-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. He is expected to be sidelined for six weeks.
“A big blow for us. We don’t have a ton of depth behind the plate, so we’re concerned about that,” rookie manager Mike Redmond said. “We’ll see what happens.”
Mathis, projected to be the backup to starter Rob Brantly this season, was injured in the fourth inning when he was hit by a foul ball off the bat of St. Louis slugger Matt Holliday. After Holliday walked, Mathis was replaced by Kyle Skipworth.
David Freese homered for the Cardinals, but pitching prospect Trevor Rosenthal had a rough start.
Mathis singled in two at-bats and Giancarlo Stanton drove in two runs for Miami in the Grapefruit League opener for both teams.
Known for his long home runs, Stanton showed he can also help the Marlins manufacture runs. He knocked in a run with a first-inning groundout and another when he chopped a single to center in the second.
“You don’t always need to hit it hard to get a hit or to be productive,” said Stanton, whose 37 homers were second-most in the National League last year. “We’re going to have to be scrappy and get runs any way we can.”
Freese hit a solo shot off Marlins starter John Maine with one out in the second. Maine allowed one hit, walked one and struck out one in his first spring start since making one for Colorado in 2011. He threw 31 pitches, including 18 strikes, over two innings.
“I was really, really antsy, really excited to get out there,” Maine said. “I think it’s the first time I ever got through two innings in my first start. I got six outs — I’m really amped up about that.”
Freese hit a 1-1 changeup over the left-field wall.
“He had good life on his stuff,” Freese said of Maine. “I faced him a few times a few years ago, and he looked good. He was definitely attacking in the zone and confident with his health.”
Miami’s Alfredo Silverio homered off lefty reliever Randy Choate in the fifth. Silverio is a Rule 5 draft selection from the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“We’ll try to get him as many at-bats as we can,” Redmond said. “We have to see what we have there.”
Rosenthal gave up four runs, five hits and two walks in two innings.
“My tempo got away from me a little bit. I’ll just learn from it and try and slow it down a little more,” he said. “If I execute some pitches a little better, there’s a lot different outcome.”
Miami went ahead 2-0 in the first. Juan Pierre led off with a triple to left-center and scored on Stanton’s one-out groundout. Joe Mahoney then doubled off the right-field wall and scored on Donovan Solano’s single.
The Marlins scored twice in the third. Pierre’s two-out push bunt single to shortstop scored Adeiny Hechavarria. Following a walk to Placido Polanco, Pierre scored on Stanton’s single to center.
NOTES: Cardinals 1B Matt Adams was 2 for 4 with two RBIs. … LHP Brad Hand, expected to compete for the No. 5 spot in Miami’s rotation, walked four and gave up two runs and a hit in two-thirds of an inning. … St. Louis LHP Marc Rzepczynski landed on his knees after turning his back and fielding a chopper by Jake Marisnick. “Anytime you see that, it’s scary,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “When you jam the knees, other things can happen.” … Cardinals CF Jon Jay put on University of Miami socks and sneakers in the green-and-orange colors of his alma mater. Seconds earlier, he was told the Hurricanes’ No. 2-ranked men’s basketball team had lost to Wake Forest. “That’s OK, they’ll come out ready on Wednesday (against Virginia),” he said.