JUPITER, Fla. -- Another strong pitching effort by Michael Wacha and some timely hitting carried the Cardinals to a 6-3 Grapefruit League win Monday against the visiting Astros at Roger Dean Stadium.
Wacha had another stellar outing in his fourth spring start. The right-hander, who is coming off an injury-shortened 2016, went five innings for his longest stint this spring, allowing two runs on three hits with four strikeouts and no walks. He threw 59 pitches, 40 for strikes. His ERA is now 1.38 this spring.
J.D. Davis delivered an RBI single in the top of the sixth that gave the Astros a 3-2 lead, their first of the game, but the Cardinals answered with four runs in the bottom of the frame. St. Louis regained the lead on back-to-back RBI doubles by Jhonny Peralta and Stephen Piscotty after Dexter Fowler started the rally with a leadoff double. Jose Martinez delivered a two-run single to complete the rally and give the Cardinals a 6-3 lead.
Jedd Gyorko staked the Cardinals to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second when he stroked his first home run this spring over the wall in right-center with Piscotty aboard. Those were the first earned runs off Astros starter Charlie Morton this spring.
Morton exited the game after four innings having permitted only those two runs on four hits while throwing 52 pitches, 32 for strikes.
The Astros knotted the game at 2 in the top of the third when Colin Moran lined a two-run double down the right-field line. Those were the first earned runs off Wacha in 10 2/3 innings this spring.
Astros Up Next: Lance McCullers Jr. will make his second start of the spring when the Astros return to the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches to face the Mets at 12:05 p.m. CT (MLB.TV) Tuesday. Jacob deGrom will start for the Mets.
Cardinals Up Next: The Cardinals have their first Grapefruit League open date Tuesday. They return to action Wednesday, when they travel across the state to Fort Myers to face the Twins, where Mike Leake will make his fourth start on the mound this spring. Tyler Duffey is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Twins. That game is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET (MLB.TV).
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.