Garcia shines in first spring start; Cards win 5-3 -

Garcia shines in first spring start; Cards win 5-3

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By KMOV Web Producer By KMOV Web Producer

JUPITER, Fla. (KMOV) - Daniel Descalso knows he's not going to make the Cardinals Opening Day roster. But that didn't matter when called in to pinch-hit in the ninth inning Monday afternoon, hitting a walk-off home run to give the Cardinals a 5-3 win over the Minnesota Twins.

The big story of the day, though, was the debut spring start of 23-year-old Jaime Garcia. Earlier in the morning, manager Tony La Russa announced to the media that Kyle McClellan would be moving into the Cardinals bullpen. With McClellan in the bullpen, it meant Jaime Garcia most likely would be the guy to earn the open fifth spot in the starting rotation.

Garcia pitched about as well as he could've asked for considering it was his first Grapefruit League start. While he allowed eight hits in six innings, certainly more than he would like to have, Garcia did a nice job of getting out of jams when he needed to, and most importantly, didn't walk any hitters. Other than a two-run triple allowed in the third inning, the Mexico native pitched shutout ball. Garcia threw 71 pitches total, 50 of them strikes. The left-hander will make his next start Saturday against against the Twins at their brand new Target Field in Minneapolis.


- Ryan Ludwick's power surge continued today, hitting a home run in consecutive at-bats going back to Sunday's game against the Mets. The solo shot, which ties Colby Rasmus and Albert Pujols for a team-leading fourth of the spring, came off Twins pitcher Kevin Slowey in the second inning with a full count and two outs.

- Albert Pujols also hit a home run off Slowey in the third inning, his second in as many days and fourth of the spring.

- Julio Lugo and Skip Schumaker teamed up to turn a fancy double play in the top of the fifth inning. Lugo ranged to his left to snag a ground ball off the bat of Nick Puno, flipped it to Schumaker, who bare-handed the ball and pivot-threw it to Pujols for the 6-4-3 double play.

- Kyle McClellan pitched a terrific seventh inning against the Twins, throwing two strikeouts and inducing a groundball out.

- Ryan Franklin, on the other hand, ran into trouble when called into the game in the ninth inning. With a 3-2 lead, Franklin gave up two hits, including a double to blow the save and extend the game.

With the win, the Cardinals move to 13-11 in Grapefruit League play.

Up Next - The Cardinals head to Port St. Lucie tomorrow to take on the New York Mets for the final time this spring. Chris Carpenter will pitch for the Red Birds.

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