JUPITER, Fla. — With so much attention being paid to how star prospect Jordan Walker is playing this spring, a couple of other Cardinals have been flying a little under the radar despite having very good springs.
Three of them played a role in the shutout win over the Yankees on Tuesday in Tampa, Fla.
Jake Woodford got his first start of the spring and his first start in his hometown since he was in A ball in 2017, and he came through with four shutout innings, lowering his spring ERA to 1.00.
Woodford’s success came against a Yankees’ lineup that included five former All-Stars and three former MVPs.
Zack Thompson, battling for a spot as one of the Cardinals’ lefthanded relievers, worked his fourth consecutive scoreless inning of the spring as he retired all three hitters he faced, recording two strikeouts.
Brendan Donovan had the biggest hit of the game, a three-run homer that opened up the 4-0 lead. The homer was Donovan’s third of the spring but his first against a left-handed pitcher. All five of Donovan’s home runs in 2022 for the Cardinals were hit against right-handers.
Here is how Wednesday’s game broke down:
High: After giving up 19 hits and 16 runs to the Tigers on Tuesday, six pitchers combined for the four-hit shutout.
Low: Alec Burleson was scratched from the starting lineup shortly before the game because of ankle discomfort.
At the plate: Walker had two hits in four at-bats, raising his spring average to .429. His second hit was an RBI single, on an 0-2 pitch, in the fifth that scored the first run of the game. He also stole his first base of the spring … Donovan was 2-of-3 and also reached on a walk, scoring on Walker’s single after going to third on a single by Dylan Carlson … Masyn Winn had a double and also stole a base before being robbed of another hit by a diving catch.
On the mound: Woodford allowed three hits and walked one in his four scoreless innings. He also recorded one strikeout … Relievers Wilking Rodriguez, Ryan Loutos, Dalton Roach and Kodi Whitley joined Thompson with a scoreless inning of relief. Loutos retired the side on nine pitches while Roach allowed the only hit among the relievers.
Worth noting: Nolan Gorman started the game at third base with Donovan playing second … Donovan had 77 plate appearances against lefthanders last season for the Cardinals without hitting a home run … Tres Berrara, battling with Andrew Knizner for the backup catcher position, got the start behind the plate and was 0-of-2 but did reach base on a walk.
Up next: The Cardinals return to Jupiter on Thursday to play an exhibition game against the World Baseball Classic team from Nicaragua. Dakota Hudson will get the start.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains