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Wacha's changeup sharp in start vs. Astros

Righty gives up two runs over three innings of work
Special to MLB.com

JUPITER, Fla. -- Michael Wacha has been one of the few bright spots among Cardinals starting pitchers early this spring. The 26-year-old right-hander threw three innings on Sunday in the Cardinals' 4-1 loss to the Astros. It wasn't as good a peformance as his debut outing, but Wacha was sharp for the most part, especially with his changeup. 

Wacha threw 50 pitches, 32 for strikes, giving up five hits and two runs while striking out one.

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JUPITER, Fla. -- Michael Wacha has been one of the few bright spots among Cardinals starting pitchers early this spring. The 26-year-old right-hander threw three innings on Sunday in the Cardinals' 4-1 loss to the Astros. It wasn't as good a peformance as his debut outing, but Wacha was sharp for the most part, especially with his changeup. 

Wacha threw 50 pitches, 32 for strikes, giving up five hits and two runs while striking out one.

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"I was mixing the changeup there; it had some good action on it," Wacha said. "It was a good pitch for me today, it's coming along nicely right now."

After breezing through a 1-2-3 first inning on nine pitches that included a strikeout, Wacha ran into a little second-inning difficulty. He yielded his first hits of the spring in that frame, giving up singles to Carlos Correa, Josh Reddick and Evan Gattis.

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A sacrifice fly produced the first run allowed this spring by Wacha, who also gave up a solo home run to Jose Altuve an inning later, which gave the Astros an early 2-0 lead.

"I was pretty happy with the way I pitched," Wacha said. "Some of my location was a little off on a few pitches, where I missed over the plate trying to go in on them. But those are things that will come in these Spring Training games with the command of the fastball.

"I was pretty happy with the way the arm felt and the way everything felt out there."

Wacha did not allow a hit in two innings of his spring debut on Monday against the Twins. He walked just one and did not strike out a batter in that contest.

Last season, Wacha matched his single-season career high with 30 starts while reaching double-digit wins (12) for the second time in his career. He also established a career high with 158 strikeouts, which were second-most on the staff behind Carlos Martinez (217).

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com.

St. Louis Cardinals, Michael Wacha