St. Louis Cardinals

Piscotty hit in left elbow by pitch, but avoids serious injury; Wainwright makes more progress

Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright talks about his Saturday outing

Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright discusses his performance Saturday in spring training against the Houston Astros.
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Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright discusses his performance Saturday in spring training against the Houston Astros.

St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Stephen Piscotty was unable to avoid an inside fastball from Stolmy Pimentel on Saturday, but Piscotty was able to avoid serious injury.

Piscotty was drilled in the left elbow in the sixth inning of the Cardinals’ wild 14-9 spring-training victory over the New York Mets in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Piscotty left the game and returned to Jupiter for X-rays, which were negative.

“It didn’t feel good,” Piscotty said moments after receiving the good news. “It felt like when you hit your funny bone. It was a fastball, so it kind of shocked me a little bit.”

Piscotty, whose elbow was wrapped, has not previously worn a protective pad. He indicated that might change.

“There’s a possibility, especially if it’s a little tender,” Piscotty said.

Piscotty indicated that there appeared to be no intent by Pimentel, who also hit Jonathan Rodriguez with a pitch in the same inning.

“I think he had given up some big hits and was just kind of erratic. He didn’t really know where he was throwing it,” Piscotty said. “I stand kind of close to the plate, so he might have been trying to work a fastball in and got me. It’s just swollen up right now. No bruising yet. We’ll see in the morning. We’ll take it day by day.

“I’m pretty encouraged. I’ve got pretty good strength in my hand. I can’t quite extend all the way, but I’m pretty relieved how it feels after the way it felt when I got hit. ... It good have done some damage if it hit me in some sort of bad spot.”

The Cardinals banged out 19 hits in the win against the Mets. Four of them were home runs by Brandon Moss, Randal Grichuk, Carson Kelly and Justin Wilson.

Wainwright goes deeper

Adam Wainwright already feels right at home as he rejoins the Cardinals rotation.

Wainwright made his second spring-training start Saturday and toiled four innings in the Cardinals’ 4-3 split-squad victory over the Houston Astros at Roger Dean Stadium.

Wainwright, who missed much of last season with a torn left Achilles’ tendon, allowed two runs on four hits, walked one and struck out two in a 52-pitch workout.

“Because I pitched at the end of last year and I felt like I was kind of building up toward starting ... I really don’t feel like I missed any time starting mentally,” Wainwright said. “It’s coming back to me very naturally.

“I haven’t thought about my leg at all. I just got done running sprints and my legs feels great. I can’t complain about that at all.”

Danny Worth had both RBIs against Wainwright, who trailed 2-0 when he exited. Worth lined a bases-empty homer to left in the second and doubled in Luis Valbuena in the fourth.

Worth, 30, is a five-year major-leaguer with 13 extra-base hits in 292 plate appearances.

“(The ball) was carrying, but he made a couple of good swings on me,” Wainwright said. “When you throw the ball in the middle of the plate, you’re going to get punished for it. Even the home run, I had him in a count where I was able to make some good pitches on him. I threw him a very good changeup, I threw him a couple of good pitches away. Not necessarily saying he didn’t earn that, because he made a good swing.

“I may have done some things differently. But he made a couple of good swings on me today. He’s a good little player.”

Wainwright pitched two innings in his first spring start against the Mets on Tuesday.

“I was working on staying in line better,” Wainwright said of his outing Saturday. “My alignment was a bit off last time. I was working to keep my hands a little more quiet. My front arm was too stiff last time, causing me to pull horizontally instead of toward the target.

“The little mechanical keys that I have during the season, I wanted to get out there today and really feel those, feel them working. That’s a great spot to build on. After my last start, I needed to take a step back and continue to work on some things. I’m going to continue to work on things, but I have a good base where I can build off of.”

Pham connects

Tommy Pham’s ninth-inning homer to left against Brady Rodgers on a 3-2 delivery tied the game against the Astros. The winning run scored on a two-out throwing error by catcher Alfredo Gonzalez.

“I didn’t see it,” Pham said of his first spring homer. “I just knew off the bat, it was gone. It was a line drive. You kind of know the feeling. It’s good to square the ball up in spring training. We took four months off and we’re trying to get our timing and everything back into mid-season form. When you have a couple of good at-bats, it’s a positive sign going forward.”

Pham, who is expected to make the team as an outfield reserve, finished 2-for-3.

“It’s still a process,” he said. “The main thing you want to look at is, ‘Am I swinging at strikes?’ and, ‘Am I putting good swings on the balls within the strike zone?’ I accomplished that today. I want to try to stay there. I want to focus on having good at-bats, because when I’m up there trying to get hits, it doesn’t work out that way for me. So, good at-bats.”

David Wilhelm: 618-239-2665, @DavidMWilhelm

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