Thursday's Grapefruit League game against the Braves was billed as the Cardinals' final exam for fifth starter candidates Joe Kelly and Shelby Miller.
If that's the case, it looks like Kelly is going to be in the rotation and Miller is either going to be in the bullpen or the staff ace at Class AAA Memphis.
Kelly hurled four solid innings to start the game with three hits and one earned run allowed. Miller pitched 2 2/3 frames and left with the bases loaded. When the book on Miller was closed he had allowed six hits -- several of them ropes -- and four runs. H
Miller's day might not have been that bad if the first candidate eliminated from the fifth slot derby, Trevor Rosenthal, had a little bit more luck.
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Rosenthal coaxed a pop-up in relief of Miller that should have ended seventh inning. But the wind blew the ball toward the infield and it dropped in for a cheap hit that plated two runs.
Matt Adams, bidding for a roster spot as a reserve, got a clutch double in the bottom of the eighth to restore the Cardinals lead 5-4.
Michael Wacha got the save in with two innings of work. He cruised through the eighth before allowing a lead-off double in the top of the ninth. Wacha didn't buckle, however, getting the next three Atlanta hitters to end the game.