Marlins 5, Cardinals 4

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Click here for a recap of the game, which ended on Avery Romero’s two-out RBI hit off Seth Maness in the bottom of the ninth. The game would have ended in a tie (both teams had agreed not to play a 10th inning) had Maness retired Romero.

Click here to read today’s cardinals.com notebook, which includes notes about Lance Lynn’s aim for 200 innings, the team’s search for a No. 2 hitter and a mentorship formed between Allen Craig and Patrick Wisdom.

You’ve heard about Randal Grichuk’s power. See it for yourself by clicking here.

Some other players and performances to highlight from today’s game:

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Greg Garcia exited the game with a left hamstring cramp, but the Cardinals do not expect the issue to sideline the infielder. He was removed for a pinch-runner in the seventh inning, after being hit on the back by a pitch and then advancing to second. Manager Mike Matheny said he noticed an inning before that Garcia looked uncomfortable.

“He didn’t want to come out of the game right there,” Matheny said. “He’s a tough kid, a good player. He’s done a nice job. It seems like he’ll be alright.”

Garcia can play several infield positions but has been used at second base in each of the team’s first two Grapefruit League games. Kolten Wong replaced him on Saturday and struck out for the third time in three spring at-bats.

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Wisdom had the Cardinals’ first spring home run on Friday. On Saturday, Scott Moore matched him with his first. Moore has drawn some attention through these first two games, as he also doubled and scored on Friday. To see video of his home run, click here.

Moore is one of the three Minor League free agents the Cardinals signed and offered a Spring Training invite to during the offseason. There is not an obvious opening for him on the bench, but he does bring intriguing versatility and some previous Major League experience (click here to learn more about his career journey).

Matheny said he will use Moore at third, second and first, though the latter will likely offer more opportunity for playing time because the Cardinals do not have a lot of first basemen in camp.

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Veteran Randy Choate had little to like about his spring results last year; the Grapefruit League season ended with him retiring a batter in only three of the final nine appearances he made. Saturday’s spring debut went much more smoothly for Choate, who retired all three batters he faced. They also all happened to be right-handed.

Choate, of course, is here to fill the LOOGY role, meaning that he may have faced as many right-handed hitters on Saturday as he will in the first month (or two) of the season. But the Cardinals can’t create left-on-left matchups here (when the opposing manager has a seemingly unlimited number of bench options), and so the priority is merely to get Choate innings.

Once the Cardinals’ begin to play minor league intrasquad games, the Cardinals will send Choate to the backfields to face left-handed hitters. Then late in the camp, Matheny will try to bring him into Grapefruit League games in left-on-left situations.

I wrote about these plans in greater length last week on cardinals.com. You can access that article by clicking here.

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A few other links worth clicking:

  • MLB Advanced Media announced some fascinating details about new technology that will soon change how we watch and analyze the game of baseball. (Article here)
  • Congratulations to Rick Carpenter, father of Cardinals second baseman Matt, who just recorded his 700th victory as a high school baseball coach. (Article here)

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Follow me on Twitter (@LangoschMLB), Instagram (LangoschMLB) and Facebook (Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com)

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