DH drives in three runs, while right-hander strikes out eight in seven frames
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The Cardinals jumped on Astros starter Brett Oberholtzer for four runs in the first inning and got a solo homer from Matt Adams in the third to beat Houston, 5-2, on Saturday afternoon at Osceola County Stadium.
It was another dominating outing by Cardinals starter Michael Wacha, who allowed four hits and two runs in seven innings, including a seventh-inning home run by Jose Altuve. He struck out eight in improving to 3-0 in the spring.
"I just wanted to go out there and keep working on stuff and get a win for this ballclub," Wacha said. "I was able to do that."
Oberholtzer, who will start the third game of the regular season for the Astros, worked five innings and allowed eight hits and five runs while throwing 87 pitches. He allowed five of six batters to reach with one out in the first inning.
Adams hit a two-run double to give St. Louis a 2-0 lead, and Stephen Piscotty and Tony Cruz added an RBI each in the inning. Adams hit a line drive homer -- his third of the spring -- down the right-field line in the third inning to push the lead to 5-0.
The Astros got on the board against Wacha when Dexter Fowler led off the fourth with the second of his two hits, went to second on a Robbie Grossman single and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Marc Krauss.
Up next: In what is likely to be his final outing before the Cardinals choose a fifth starter, Joe Kelly will face Houston in Sunday's 12:05 p.m. CT game at Roger Dean Stadium. That final rotation spot will be filled by Kelly or Carlos Martinez, both of whom allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings in their most recent starts. The game, available on Gameday Audio, will be the final spring meeting between the Cardinals and Astros, who are not scheduled to meet in the regular season for the first time since the Astros became a Major League franchise.