Big bats come out for Cards in victory

Big bats come out for Cards in victory

at Jupiter, Fla.
Saturday, March 13

Astros at the plate: Chris Shelton hit a two-run homer in the top of the second, his first round-tripper this spring. Drew Locke also had a two-run homer in the seventh.

Cardinals at the plate: Ryan Ludwick drilled his second home run of the spring, a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning when the Cardinals sent 10 batters to the plate and scored four runs. Yadier Molina and Julio Lugo followed with back-to-back doubles in the inning. Those two struck again in the fifth when Molina led off with a single and Lugo followed with his first home run of the spring. Albert Pujols had a single, double and walk in his first action in a week since experiencing lower back spasms.

Astros on the mound: Felipe Paulino had a solid outing in his first start this spring. The right-hander pitched two scoreless innings, allowing two hits and one walk, and 17 of his 23 pitches were strikes. Left-hander Wesley Wright followed Paulino and allowed four runs with three earned on four hits, including a home run, walked one and struck out one.

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Cardinals on the mound: Chris Carpenter went three innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits, including a home run and a walk, but had five strikeouts. Of his 58 pitches, 38 were strikes, but he also had a wild pitch and hit a batter. Rich Hill, who missed a scheduled start when Friday's game against the Red Sox was rained out, followed Carpenter and allowed one earned run on four hits with one walk and a strikeout to pick up the win.

Worth noting: Skip Schumaker had a double in four at-bats, but the Cardinals' second baseman was robbed of two hits in back-to-back innings. Astros pitcher Wesley Wright made a stabbing catch of a hard liner off Schumaker's bat in the third inning, and shortstop Tommy Manzella made a leaping catch to rob Schumaker of a hit with the bases loaded in the fourth. ... A sellout crowd of 7,569 attended Saturday's game against the visiting Astros, who brought a split squad from Kissimmee, Fla.

Grapefruit League records: Astros, 4-5; Cardinals, 4-5.

Up next: The Cardinals head north up I-95 to Viera, Fla., on Sunday to face the Nationals at 12:05 p.m. CT. Adam Wainwright will make his second start of Spring Training for the Cardinals and first against the Nats, who he beat twice last year during the regular season. Highly touted Stephen Strasburg, the No. 1 pick in last summer's Draft, is the scheduled starter for Washington.

Steve Dorsey is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.