Robinson ignites five-run eighth-inning rally

Robinson ignites five-run eighth-inning rally

Robinson ignites five-run eighth-inning rally
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Shane Robinson, who is looking to win a backup outfield role with the Cardinals, hit a go-ahead three-run triple in the eighth inning in a 9-6 win over the Red Sox on Thursday afternoon at JetBlue Park.

After turning in two scoreless Grapefruit League starts as he transitions to Boston's rotation, Daniel Bard was roughed up in his first relief appearance. The right-hander, who had to endure a sixth-inning rain delay, allowed seven runs on six hits and walked four batters over 2 2/3 innings.

St. Louis starter Kyle Lohse surrendered three runs on six hits and notched four strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings. Alfredo Aceves, who was making his first Grapefruit League start, yielded just one run on three hits while throwing 64 pitches over four innings.

Things looked promising for the Red Sox early, as Darnell McDonald hit a two-run home run in the fourth, while Dustin Pedroia launched a leadoff homer in the fifth.

"I'm not going to lie, it probably is," McDonald said when asked if this is the best spring of his career. "I'm feeling pretty good up there."

Doubles from Boston's David Ortiz and Ryan Lavarnway tied the game at 1 in the fourth before McDonald's second Grapefruit League homer put the Sox up 3-1.

Pedroia's solo homer in the fifth off J.C. Romero made it 4-1.

Aceves, who likely has two or three more starts after Thursday to earn a place at the end of the Sox's rotation, made a strong impression his 57-pitch outing.

The game's first run was scored by the Cardinals in the second inning, with help from their former infielder, Nick Punto. Making his first start at shortstop this Grapefruit League season for the Red Sox, Punto was called for obstruction on Erik Komatsu's double to center, allowing Matt Carpenter to score.

Up next: The Cardinals host the Marlins at 12:05 p.m. CT in Jupiter, Fla., with right-hander Jake Westbrook on the mound. Mark Buehrle is scheduled to pitch for the Marlins.

Evan Drellich is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @EvanDrellich. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.