Nate Eovaldi, Marlins' split-squad hold off Cardinals
JUPITER, Fla. (AP) -- St. Louis pitcher Lance Lynn says he hasn't experienced any ill effects following his first 200-inning major league season. Judging by his first outing of the spring, it's easy to believe him.
Lynn allowed only one hit in two innings Saturday against a split squad of the Miami Marlins, who beat the Cardinals 5-4 on Avery Romero's game-ending single in the ninth.
"This is the best I've felt arm-wise ever," Lynn said. "The more I throw, the better I feel. It's always been like that my whole life."
Lynn and ace Adam Wainwright both eclipsed the 200-inning mark for the Cardinals last season. Lynn intends to surpass that benchmark again this season.
"When you are coming up in the minor leagues that's what you hear -- you want to go deep into games and throw 200 innings," he said.
St. Louis hit Nathan Eovaldi hard but only managed one run off the Marlins starter.
Randal Grichuk, acquired in the trade that sent David Freese to the Angels, appeared to be fooled by Eovaldi's offspeed pitch yet still generated enough power with a one-handed swing to send a line drive over the head of center fielder Marcell Ozuna for an RBI triple.
"I felt like it was a pretty (well) located pitch," Eovaldi said. "I mean it was over the middle, but it was down. He smoked it, so I don't know."
Miami scored four times in the fourth, with Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Greg Dobbs, Jeff Mathis and Ozuna all getting RBIs.
Scott Moore's solo homer in the Cardinals eighth made it 4-all.
Cardinals: Lynn threw 29 pitches, 17 for strikes. He said he wanted to throw a third inning, but manager Mike Matheny made a change after the second.
"We have a month to get ready so there's no point in jumping out there and doing too much," Lynn said.
Marlins: Manager Mike Redmond would like to see Eovaldi develop his secondary pitches this spring. Redmond is looking for a sharper break on Eovaldi's curveball and a more consistent changeup.
"He has the ability to be a top-of-the-order type pitcher with that fastball," Redmond said.
Cardinals: Jason Motte raised the intensity in Saturday's bullpen session and everything went well, Matheny. The manager didn't provide a timetable for when Motte, who is coming off ligament replacement surgery, would appear in a game.
Marlins: Henderson Alvarez is feeling better and could throw a bullpen session on Monday, Redmond said. Henderson had a shin infection drained on Tuesday.
FILLING THE ROTATION
Prior to heading to Port St. Lucie for the Marlins' split-squad game against the Mets, Redmond announced that Jacob Turner will start Monday's game against Houston and Tom Koehler will get the ball on Tuesday against Minnesota. He had previously announced Brad Hand as Sunday's starter at Washington.
Redmond hopes the offseason addition of Saltalamacchia and Garrett Jones will allow slugger Giancarlo Stanton to relax at the plate and not feel like he has to provide all the Marlins' offense. Teams frequently pitched around Stanton last season, and Redmond felt like that affected Stanton's mental approach at the plate.
"You have to figure out when to be aggressive and when they are pitching around you," Redmond said.
Matheny said shortstop Jhonny Peralta is excited to make Monday's trip to Lakeland to face the Tigers. Peralta signed with the Cardinals during the offseason after spending four seasons with Detroit.
"He won't be making a lot of far trips, but that's one I figured he'd be pretty good about going to," Matheny said.
Peralta went 0 for 2 with a strikeout in his first Grapefruit League appearance on Saturday.