Cardinals 10, Astros 2

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.