Lynn able to mix up pitches in third spring start

TAMPA, Fla. -- Aside from one "slider that didn't slide" that Kevin Youkilis banged off the scoreboard past the left-field fence, Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn accomplished everything he wanted to in Monday's start against the Yankees.

Lynn, set to be St. Louis' fourth starter, gave up one run -- Youkilis' fourth-inning homer -- on two hits and a walk while striking out one over four innings, his best results so far this spring. Lynn gave up five runs (four earned) on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings over his first two Grapefruit League starts. St. Louis lost to New York, 4-0.

Lynn felt he was better able to mix up his pitches and utilize his curveball and changeup. He didn't get ahead in the count as often as he would have liked to, but he induced outs -- eight via ground balls, three in the air -- when he had to.

"The results were good. I think he will admit that the day went just the way he wanted," bench coach Mike Aldrete said. "He did make a mistake, and it cost him a home run. But I think it was encouraging from his standpoint.

"I felt like his fastball is on its way back, and he mixed in his other pitches and controlled some counts. ... All in all, I thought it was a positive outing."

It's a good time of the spring for Lynn to be rounding into form, as he should make only three more starts before the regular season begins. Lynn said he wants to be able to execute his game plan now just like he would during the regular season, but that will become especially important in his final two Spring Training starts.

"You start to execute the way you're going to go out, I guess, during the season," Lynn said. "We still have time, but when it's all said and done, you don't want to give up runs or hits ever. That's just part of our DNA. We don't ever want to give up runs or hits, but you've got to go through some of those things this time of year just to get pitches better that aren't as good as they need to be so you don't have that issue during the season."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. Adam Berry is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.