Cardinals 5, Braves 4

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Once again, Matt Adams did as Matt Adams does: Hit. His two-out, eighth-inning double off lefty Alex Wood broke a tie game and lifted the Cardinals to their first win since Saturday. The club scored as many runs today as it had in its last four games combined.

As for Adams — who continues to use his bat to make a plea for a bench spot — he is now hitting .344 with eight RBIs in Grapefruit League play.

“Big hit for us; not a surprise,” manager Mike Matheny said afterward. “The guy can hit. He doesn’t have to really prove that to us.”

***

Adams’ go-ahead RBI double put right-hander Michael Wacha in position to earn his first win of the spring. It also came in his final appearance in Grapefruit League play. Wacha was told after the game that he will be reassigned to Minor League camp. The Cardinals aren’t expected to make the announcement official until Friday, but Wacha confirmed the move with reporters before leaving the clubhouse.

“It was unbelievable,” Wacha said. “I wasn’t really expecting to get an invite [to Major League camp]. I just looked at it as an opportunity to come and show what I had and hopefully open up some eyes. Hopefully, I did that.”

He certainly did.

I’m not sure there was a player talked about more over the past month than Wacha. He came out of the Draft last summer pegged as an advanced college pitcher, but that didn’t completely prepare the Cardinals for the showing Wacha put on this spring. He was dominant on the field and handled himself exceptionally off of it.

His final numbers: 11 2/3 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 15 K

Eduardo Sanchez and Victor Marte have also been cut from camp. Both have been optioned to the Minors. Again, the Cardinals have opted to wait until Friday to make the roster move announcement.

***

If you’re hoping I inform you who the fifth starter will be for the Cardinals at the start of the season, deflate those expectations. There was no such announcement today, though it seemed as if many of you expected there to be. Matheny had never made such promise.

Both Joe Kelly and Shelby Miller pitched well today. Each showed strengths but were also exposed in other areas (as is the case in spring). Matheny did not commit to naming a fifth starter before Miller and Kelly pitch again, so we’ll see how long this competition potentially drags out.

For much more detail on this storyline, check out this story on cardinals.com.

***

For updates on Mike Matheny (back surgery) and Marc Rzepczynski (left eye injury), check out today’s notebook (link here). … Matt Holliday returned to the field today after missing more than a week dealing with and recovering from a stomach virus. He went 0-for-2 with a walk. … Rafael Furcal’s Tommy John surgery was said to be successful on Wednesday. … Mitchell Boggs has so far pitched only once in the World Baseball Classic (four games) but will have another opportunity to possibly take the mound tonight when Team USA faces the Dominican Republic.

***

The Cardinals will be on TV (Fox Sports Midwest) again on Friday when they face the Nationals (12:05 p.m. CT). Adam Wainwright is scheduled to make the start. Other pitchers who will be available: John Gast, Jason Motte, Randy Choate, Edward Mujica, Fernando Salas, Seth Maness.

Before the game, the players will have their annual MLB Players’ Association meeting.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

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