ST. LOUIS – The Cardinals used a 4-run eighth inning rally at Roger Dean Stadium against the Nationals and a 10-hit, 7-run showing at JetBlue Park against the Red Sox to pick up a pair of split squad wins on Monday afternoon in Florida.
Lance Lynn made his first big-league start since his recovery from November 2015 Tommy John Surgery. Lynn tossed thirty five pitches over two innings, giving up a lone tally on four hits and a walk against the Nationals.
After losing top pitching prospect Alex Reyes to the same injury at the beginning of spring training, the Cardinals were very pleased to see Lynn return to the mound and show promise. Lynn’s comeback figures in big this year for St. Louis, where the Cardinals hope he will rack up the innings and the victories in the middle of this year’s starting rotation.
If Monday’s outing serves as any indication, Lynn looks like he’s ready to be back, and Manager Mike Matheny was ready to have him back.
“The experience he’s had and the style pitcher he is, he’s a guy who could bring a lot to our club,” Matheny told Jenifer Langosch (Cardinals, MLB.com). “I’m anxious to have him back.”
Jose Martinez, who spent parts of last season in both the Royals’ and Cardinals’ farm systems, launched a pair of two-run homers to help the Cardinals defeat the Red Sox in Fort Myers, FL. The 28-year-old left fielder made his major league debut for the Cardinals in September of 2016, and had seven hits and an RBI in sixteen at-bats for St. Louis in total last year.
Martinez figures to be fighting for a backup position in the outfield and a bench role for the Cardinals in 2017.
Other Notable Performances:
Michael Wacha made his first spring start against Boston on Monday. The righty, who figures to round out the back of the Cardinals 2017 rotation, threw two innings of one run ball (unearned), recording two punch outs while only allowing four hits.
During a 4-run eighth inning against Washington on Monday, a pair of youngsters made big contributions. Part of the Cards’ minor-league camp in Florida, Luke Voit led off the inning with a round-tripper, and Nick Martini bookended the inning with a 3-RBI two-bagger, which gave the Cardinals the lead, and eventually the victory.
Up Next: The Cardinals will visit the Braves in Lake Buena Vista, FL on Tuesday afternoon (12:05 pm CT). Mike Leake is expected to start for St. Louis.