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Cardinals vs. Mets, March 25

There's nothing quite like Chris Carpenter when he's healthy. The Cardinals ace mowed through an admittedly light Mets lineup Thursday like a hot knife through butter.

Spotted an early lead on a Brendan Ryan Homer and an insurance run later when Albert Pujols hit a solo homer, Carpenter hurled six innings with two hits and two walks allowed. He allowed one earned run, struck out seven and shouted one very bad word after getting squeezed by home plate umpire C.B. Bucknor.

After Carpenter hit the showers, Trever Miller came in and walked the leadoff man and allowed a hit in a third of an inning. Miller gave way to Mitchell Boggs, who struggled early this spring but looked sharp Thursday with one hit and no runs allowed in an inning and two-thirds. Dennys Reyes pitched the ninth for the save, allowing one hit.

The Cardinals' bats didn't do much as each team managed just four hits. Besides the solo homers, Felipe Lopez and Matt Holliday singled.

Former Cardinals infielder Fernando Tatis had two of the Mets' three hits. He's hitting .160 for the spring.

Joe Mather, trying to win the Birds' last roster spot, was 0-for-2 with a walk. He grounded into a double play. His competitor, Nick Stavinoha, came into the game late and went hitless in his lone at bat. Judging from the playing time he is getting, it would seem that the last spot on the bench is Mather's to lose.