JUPITER (AP) — Allen Craig has been prevented from playing first by a sore shoulder. The injury doesn’t appear to have affected his swing, though.
Craig and Matt Holliday each hit their first homers of spring training, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 10-2 victory over the Houston Astros on Monday.
Craig was starting as the designated hitter. He reached base in all three at-bats, adding a walk and an RBI single.
“I feel good,” he said. “We’re just taking it extremely slow. It’s a really long spring. I want to get out here and play in the field, but at the same time the season starts April 1 and I want to be ready for that.”
The homers were back-to-back as part of a five-run third inning that broke the game open.
Holliday’s two-run drive landed on the balcony of the Miami Marlins clubhouse beyond the left-center field wall, driving in Kolton Wong. The Marlins and Cardinals share the Roger Dean Stadium complex.
“I hit it pretty good,” Holiday said. “I’m just trying to put good swings out there.”
Pete Kozma added a solo homer in the seventh for St. Louis.
Adam Wainwright, the Cardinals’ likely opening-day starter, allowed four hits while striking out three in 2 2-3 scoreless innings.
“The ball came out nice — I moved the ball around a little bit,” Wainwright said “It was a good place to start.”
Wainwright’s counterpart, Phillip Humber didn’t fare as well.
After needing only eight pitches to retire the Cardinals in the first inning, Humber walked the first two batters of the inning before David Freese lined a pitch off the right-field wall, scoring Craig.
Humber issued another walk but managed to get out of the inning without allowing another run.
“I just didn’t throw strikes,” said Humber, who was selected off waivers from the White Sox during the offseason. “It’s not the ideal second inning that you want to have, but it’s my first time out there. I’m not going to get myself worked up over it.”
Former Cardinals pitcher and outfielder Rick Ankiel received an ovation from the crowd before his first at-bat, then promptly ripped a double to the left-center wall. Ankiel was thrown out trying to stretch the play into a triple. He went 1 for 2.
NOTES: Manager Mike Matheny acknowledged the Cardinals have considered giving Yadier Molina some reps at first base. Craig and Matt Adams are both dealing with injuries and Molina could play some first base for Puerto Rico in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. … Matheny said pitcher Jake Westbrook will get his first start of the spring on Thursday against Miami. Joe Kelly is slated to start Friday at Houston. … Two Cardinals’ former first-round draft choices (Tyler Greene and Brett Wallace) and one second-round selection (Rick Ankiel) appeared in the Astros’ starting lineup on Monday. Another former Cardinal farmhand, C. J. Fick also pitched in relief. Jeff Luhnow was the St. Louis VP of Scouting and Player Development before becoming the Houston general manager. …Houston pitcher Paul Clemens slipped on the wet field in the late innings while trying to cover first and remained on the ground for about a minute. Houston trainers came out to check on Clemens, who walked off the field without help.