Pujols smashes first homer in Cards' loss

Pujols smashes first homer in Cards' loss

MARLINS 7, CARDINALS (ss) 6
at Jupiter, Fla.
Friday, March 19

Cardinals at the plate: With two outs in the third inning, Albert Pujols connected on his first home run of Spring Training. The All-Star crushed a 3-1 Anibal Sanchez offering out to left field. Pujols went deep on his 20th Grapefruit League at-bat. Joe Mather's RBI groundout put the Cardinals on the board in the second inning. Ryan Ludwick, who singled to center and moved to third on Yadier Molina's double, scored from third. In the seventh inning, the Cardinals scored four runs. Daniel Descalso had a pinch-hit RBI single, and Felipe Lopez had a run-scoring single. Amaury Cazana delivered a pinch-hit two-run double.

Marlins at the plate: Behind seven hits in the first inning, the Marlins scored six times. Chris Coghlan led off with a single, and he added an RBI single in the frame. Logan Morrison collected a two-run double, while Cody Ross had a two-run single. Brett Hayes hit a run-scoring single. Coghlan added a two-out RBI single in the third inning.

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Cardinals on the mound: For Chris Carpenter, it was an afternoon to get his work in and build up his pitch count. Otherwise, it was a forgetful afternoon for the former National League Cy Young Award winner. From the start, it was going to be a long day, as he gave up six runs on seven hits in the first inning. In that inning alone, he threw 29 pitches (21 strikes). In all, Carpenter allowed seven runs on 10 hits with five strikeouts. He didn't walk a batter, and he threw 72 pitches with 51 strikes. Adam Ottavino threw two scoreless innings of relief, with 21 of his 27 pitches for strikes.

Marlins on the mound: Sanchez continued to build his case to be the No. 3 starter. The right-hander worked a solid five innings, scattering four hits. The Venezuelan native surrendered a run on two hits in the second inning. In the third inning, he was taken deep by Pujols. Sanchez struck out four and walked two. Of his 69 pitches, 42 were strikes. Jose Veras was stretched out to more than an inning. After getting through the sixth inning without yielding a run, the right-hander was tagged for four runs in the seventh. He threw 34 pitches (18 strikes).

Worth noting: Matt Holliday is still a few days away from returning as he rests a sore rib cage. Brendan Ryan, who had right wrist surgery Feb. 9, could be back in the lineup within a few days. ... Hanley Ramirez and Jorge Cantu, both given Friday off, are expected to make the trip to Viera, Fla., on Saturday.

Grapefruit League records: Marlins 9-8; Cardinals 5-9

Up next: Adam Wainwright will make his third Grapefruit League start on Saturday in a 12:05 p.m. CT meeting with the Mets at Roger Dean Stadium, a game that will be shown on MLB.TV. New York is throwing John Maine. Wainwright has thrown six innings total in the spring, and he's still gaining his command. He has walked four and struck out two.

The Marlins head to Viera for the second time four days to take on the Nationals at 12:05 p.m. Chris Volstad will look to make a case to win a rotation spot. In 7 1/3 innings, the 23-year-old has given up eight runs. Garrett Mock, who hasn't walked a batter in Spring Training, is going for Washington.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.