The St. Louis Cardinals on Monday ended up the winners of a pitchers duel with the Detroit Tigers.
David Price, oft linked to the Redbirds in trade rumors before he was eventually dealt to Motown, faced off against St. Louis hurler John Lackey in game that ended 1-0.
Lackey pitched three innings in which he allowed no hits, walks or runs. Meanwhile, he struck out four Tigers hitters.
The lone run of the game came in the sixth when St. Louis centerfielder Randal Grichuk walked and stole second base. Then Pete Kozma, batting .400 for the spring, lined a base hit to bring Grichuk home just ahead of a throw to the plate.
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Yadier Molina, Jhonny Peralta and Stephen Piscotty each collected a safety to account for the four St. Louis hits on the day.
Detroit's only serious threat came in an inning of work by Carlos Villanueva, who gave up a long double to the first hitter he faced. But Villanueva managed to pitch out of trouble to the chagrin of Tigers fans who made the trip to Roger Dean Stadium. They groaned when Yoenis Cespedes, who was on second base, stopped at third on a two-out single. He might have made it home had he challenged. But Grichuk made a good throw to the plate to give Cespedes second thoughts.
In an all-around good performance for the pitching staff, closer Rosenthal stood out. He threw strikes and got the first batter to make an out on a checked swing back to the mound. Rosenthal got ahead of the second batter and then forced him to ground out on defensive swing. The last out of the game came on a popped up foul ball which Piscotty caught after a long run that ended just in front the Cardinals bullpen bench.
The ballpark was packed for a game between two expected contenders with scalpers asking well over $100 for tickets before the game, a remarkable sum for an exhibition contest.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Lackey
Cardinals Play of the Game: Pete Kozma, in addition to his game-winning hit, made a nice play to his right at third base to start a big double play on a ball that might have put runners at second and third with no outs.
Lowlight: It was in the mid 80s, sunny and there was baseball being played. No lowlight today, sorry.