Kolten Wong's ninth inning two out base hit pushed a split squad of Cardinals kids past Atlanta 5-4 Tuesday in Jupiter.
St. Louis starter Jaime Garcia was a bit shaky and allowed a run in two innings before he had to leave the game after two innings thanks to reaching his 40-pitch limit. But he left with the game tied at one run. In came minor leaguer Joe Kelly who gave up two runs on two hits and three walks in two innings of work. He also struck out three before leaving the game down 3-1.
That's the way it stayed until the Cardinas plated a pair in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at three and then took the lead with a run in the bottom of the eighth to take the lead for the first time in the game.
Jason Motte came in to pitch and gave up a run on two hits and walk to force the Birds to bat in the bottom of the ninth.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to Belleville News-Democrat
With two outs in the bottom of the frame, Erik Komatsu singled and took second on a wild pitch. Ryan Jackson hit an infield single deep into the hole at short to make it first and third with two out when Wong came to the plate. The Cardinals second base prospect singled up the middle to drive home Kamatsu and decide the game 5-4.
Bryan Anderson was 1-for-1 with a pair of walks for the Cardinals. He also had plenty of chances to show his defense. He picked off one runner at second base and threw out an attempted base stealer at third to complete a strike 'em out, throw 'em out double play. He narrowly missed getting another runner at second who got a good jump, but he made a bad throw on a third attempted base stealer and pulled Skip Schumaker away from the bag on a play that would have been an out if the toss was more accurate.
Carlos Beltran was 2-for-4 at the plate for the Cardinals to improve his spring average to .286 while Komatsu was 1-for-3 with two batted in. He's batting .444 for the spring and Komatsu nearly cleared the bases for a bigger day. He pulled a hard line drive to right that the outfielder was able to snare with a fine running catch. The play was good enough to sacrifice home a run, but without the great outfield play, it would have been a triple to the right field corner.
The Cardinals played mostly youngsters for their home game at Jupiter. With a split squad, the veterans traveled to Viera to play the Nationals. David Freese hit a three-run homer there in an 8-4 loss.