Cardinals outfielder Adron Chambers, who is fighting for the last spot on the team's 25-man roster, made his case Friday during a road game against the Houston Astros.
Chambers, who has been a September call-up the last two seasons, hit a three-run homer with two outs in the sixth inning to put the Redbirds ahead of Houston 8-4. But the bullpen couldn't hold the advantage and the game ended in a tie at 8.
The Cardinals will likely carry 12 pitchers and a maximum of five position players on the bench. With one spot going to the back-up catcher, one going to the loser of the battle between Daniel Descalso and Matt Carpenter to be the starter at second base, one going to reserve infielder and another going to utility man Ty Wigginton, only one slot remains. And that will likely be reserved for an outfielder. So, assuming that the Birds send Oscar Tavares to Class AAA for at least a little while, that leaves the last spot to the winner of a three-way battle between Chambers, Shane Robinson and Justin Christian.
Descalso. who has a more established glove than Carpenter but a less established bat, had two hits in two at bats and drove in a pair of runs. Infielder Pete Kozma, who seems destined to be a victim of the numbers game, split time between shortstop and third base and went 2-for-4 in the game.
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Joe Kelly started the contest and allowed a pair of walks but no hits in two scoreless innings. Based on the schedule, it seems that he has the advantage in the battle for the fifth slot in the starting rotation. Shelby Miller, likely his greatest competitor, will start Saturday.
Eduardo Sanchez made his third straight perfect appearance, striking out one. He's allowed no hits and no walks while striking out five in three innings.
Closer Jason Motte was tagged for two runs on two hits and a walk in one inning of work.