Wainwright's strong debut complements Cards' bats
Right-hander works 2 2/3 shutout innings; Holliday, Craig and Kozma homer
JUPITER, Fla. -- A five-run third inning, highlighted by back-to-back home runs from Matt Holliday and Allen Craig, helped the Cardinals pull away from the Astros for a 10-2 win at Roger Dean Stadium on Monday. The meeting was St. Louis' first against the Astros since Houston shifted to the American League.
After getting 2 2/3 scoreless innings from starter Adam Wainwright, the Cardinals batted around in the bottom of the third. After a leadoff double by Kolten Wong, Holliday launched a ball over the left-field wall. Craig followed with a homer to nearly the same spot.
Run-scoring doubles by Shane Robinson and Pete Kozma capped the inning. Four of the five runs were charged to Houston's Sam Demel, who did not retire any of the four batters he faced.
Wainwright, in his first start of the spring, was so efficient through two innings that Cardinals manager Mike Matheny sent him out to pitch the third. With two out and two on in the third, Wainwright handed the ball over to Seth Maness, who closed the frame with a strikeout of Chris Carter.
Wainwright threw 27 of his 48 pitches for strikes. He allowed four hits and struck out three.
"It's always nice to see some real hitters up there who kind of show you what your pitches are doing and what you need to work on," Wainwright said. "You want to stay under control, use the arm that God gave you and throw the ball where you're supposed to. That's what spring is all about."
Right-hander Philip Humber gave up one run on one hit and three walks in his two-inning debut for Houston. Of the 43 pitches he threw, 22 were strikes. All three of his walks came during the Cardinals' one-run second.
"I just didn't throw strikes, that's all it was," Humber said. "That was not the ideal second inning you want to have. But it's my first time out there. I'm not gonna beat myself up over it. First time going up and down, so that probably had something to do with it."
Second baseman Marwin Gonzalez was Houston's only starter to finish with a multi-hit game. Craig, Holliday, Kozma, Robinson and David Freese each drove in two runs for St. Louis.
Cardinals up next: Jaime Garcia will start for the Cardinals on Tuesday in what will be the left-hander's first game appearance since he left his 2012 Division Series start early with a shoulder injury. Garcia, who has had an injury-free spring, is slated to pitch two innings. Lefty relievers Marc Rzepczynski and Randy Choate are scheduled to pitch in relief against the Red Sox. First pitch in Fort Myers, Fla., is scheduled for 12:35 p.m. CT. Boston is slated to start Ryan Dempster, who signed with the club during the offseason.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.