After a day when the Cardinals‘ bats exploded, they were held in check and the pitching staff struggled to contain the Astros on Thursday night.
The Cardinals dropped their first game of the spring to the Astros 14-0 at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach, Florida. They had scored 14 runs in a win over the Mets on Wednesday.
Starter Carlos Martínez’s spring debut was one to forget. The right-hander allowed six runs on four hits and three walks. He also was charged with a throwing error on a pickoff attempt. He was pulled with two outs in the first inning and replaced by Austin Warner, who finished the inning. Martínez then returned to pitch the second inning — a situation allowed by 2021 spring training rules — to conclude his outing.
Alex Reyes offered one of the lone bright moments for the Cardinals. The 26-year-old right-hander fired two perfect frames while striking out three Astros in his second appearance this spring.
The Cardinals didn’t crack the hit column until the fourth inning, when Yadier Molina hit a leadoff double. Justin Williams later walked, but both were stranded to end the inning.
In the sixth, the Astros tagged Genesis Cabrera for two runs and Garrett Williams for another three to increase their lead to 11-0.
The Astros pushed another three runs across in the eighth against Giovanny Gallegos.
Offensively, the Cardinals tallied just three hits — one each by Yadier Molina, Lane Thomas and Tyler Heineman — and went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
The Cardinals take on the Washington Nationals at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on Friday at 5:05 pm.