JUPITER, Fla. -- With his fourth multihit game of spring, William Fowler keyed the Cardinals' 6-2 win over the Nationals in St. Louis' Grapefruit League finale on Wednesday. The Cardinals finished 7-0-1 against Washington this spring and won 20 games in Grapefruit League play for the first time since 1997."To
JUPITER, Fla. -- With his fourth multihit game of spring, William Fowler keyed the Cardinals' 6-2 win over the Nationals in St. Louis' Grapefruit League finale on Wednesday. The Cardinals finished 7-0-1 against Washington this spring and won 20 games in Grapefruit League play for the first time since 1997.
"To me, that's just a result of the process," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of the team's spring on-field success. "That's something we just need to get the guys to continue to buy into. If you continue to buy into the process, keep putting a lot of priority on doing those little things right, the results are going to be the natural byproduct."
Stephen Strasburg, making his final appearance before pitching the Nationals' season opener Monday, allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits. Fowler singled and scored on a Matt Carpenter sacrifice fly in the first, and the Cardinals used Fowler's triple in the third to tally two more runs.
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Strasburg, who had the added challenge of facing the Cardinals' likely Opening Day lineup, finished his day at 61 pitches. He threw 42 of those for strikes and posted a 6.61 ERA in five spring starts.
Cardinals starter Michael Wacha also finished four innings in his final spring appearance. He allowed five hits, including a homer to Ryan Zimmerman, and two earned runs while throwing 64 pitches (39 strikes). The Cardinals have not announced when he'll make his first regular-season start.
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"I feel real happy with the work I got done during the spring," Wacha said. "I feel strong. I feel like I've got my pitches where I want them to be going into the season. Just a lot of excitement towards the start of the season."
Cardinals outfielder/first baseman Jose Martinez capped a terrific spring with a two-run double off reliever Phillips Valdez to extend the lead in the sixth. Martinez finished with a team-most 19 hits and 15 RBIs in the Grapefruit League season.
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Nationals Up Next: The Nationals will head to Fort Myers, Fla., to close out their Grapefruit League schedule against the Red Sox on Thursday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. ET on Gameday Audio. Right-hander Joe Ross will make the start for the Nats before both teams head up to D.C. for a pair of exhibition games.
Cardinals Up Next: With their Grapefruit League schedule over, the Cardinals will play an exhibition game against their Triple-A affiliate in Memphis on Thursday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CT on Gameday Audio. The Cardinals will use several relievers to cover the game, beginning with right-hander Jonathan Broxton, who will be making his first career start.
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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast.