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Dunc's long shots make him less of a longshot

Chris Duncan is making it tough on the Cardinals to put together the final roster that doesn't include him.

Duncan, considered by many (including me) to be a non-factor in the Birds' long-term plans, is elbowing himself into consideration with a revitalized bat. He whacked another homer Tuesday in the Cardinals 5-2 win over Detroit in a 2-2 performance that saw his batting average rise to .385.

His defense is tough to swallow. But if he's hitting .300 with power, it's going to be hard to deny him a spot. 

Rick Ankiel continued his strong spring with a 3-4 day at the plate for a .400 spring average and Skip Schumaker was 2-3 to stand at .333. Ryan Ludwick, back from a couple of days off with a muscle strain, was 0-4 to fall to .143.

Starting pitcher Kyle Lohse seems to be rounding in to shape. He was much sharper than he has been previously with 4 1/3 innings pitched and only one run allowed on two hits. Ryan Franklin allowed two hits and a run in an inning.