JUPITER, Fla. -- Knee fine, Jake Westbrook got down to business.
And he enjoyed it.
Westbrook showed no ill effects of the bruised knee that forced him to leave his first spring start after one inning, limiting the Miami Marlins to a run and four hits over three innings of the St. Louis Cardinals’ 7-2 win Wednesday.
“Getting my work in and getting the allotted innings I was supposed to throw was a lot nicer than having to come out because of a line drive,” said Westbrook, who was struck below the knee by a comebacker in his first start.
Westbrook allowed a run in the third when Kyle Skipworth led off the inning with a double to center field and scored on Donovan Solano’s two-out single to left.
“I was really pleased today the way I felt going out for the third inning,” said Westbrook, who also struck out two in the third. “It’s just another step, getting my innings in and getting ready for the season.”
Westbrook received all the support he’d need from a couple of early long balls.
Top prospect Oscar Taveras put St. Louis on top in the second inning, sending Tom Koehler’s pitch over the center field wall for a two-run homer.
Matt Holliday added another two-run shot the following inning, reaching out to drive an 0-2 pitch to about the same spot where Taveras hit his.
Ronny Cedeno connected in the seventh, and Matt Adams and Rob Johnson added back-to-back homers in the eighth.
Koehler didn’t help his chances of making the Marlins, failing to get out of the third inning. Koehler allowed four runs, seven hits and walked two batters in 2 1-3 innings.
Miami minor league catcher Austin Barnes had a pinch-hit homer in his first at-bat of spring training.
NOTES: Cardinals 3B David Freese was held out of the lineup after falling on his tailbone while chasing a foul ball in Monday’s game against Minnesota. St. Louis Manager Mike Matheny said the Cardinals were being cautions with Freese and he could have played were it a regular season game. ... OF Carlos Beltran played right field and went 1 for 3 with a double for Puerto Rico against the Red Sox in a warmup game of the World Baseball Classic on Tuesday. Beltran missed two games before leaving for the WBC after being hit in the toe with a pitch. ... SS Rafael Furcal was scheduled to visit Dr. James Andrews to get an opinion on his injured throwing elbow. The Cardinals expected to learn the results late Wednesday. ... Miami manager Mike Redmond expects 3B Placido Polanco to miss a couple days because of soreness in his oblique. Polanco is able to swing the bat but the soreness felt when throwing caused him to be scratched from the lineup. ... OF Justin Ruggiano (lower back) took batting practice on the back fields before Wednesday’s game and is expected to join the Marlins for on-field batting practice in the coming days. ... With Chris Coghlan off to a hot spring and Ruggiano still sidelined, Redmond said he intends to give Coghlan a look in center field in the coming days.