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Cruz's three-run double sparks Cardinals

Garcia scatters three hits, fans two over two scoreless frames vs. Boston

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Ryan Dempster looked strong in his debut with the Red Sox by firing two hitless innings, but the Cardinals' offense sprang to life after his departure and cruised to a 15-4 victory on Tuesday afternoon at JetBlue Park.

Dempster allowed just one baserunner, and it was on an error by second baseman Jonathan Diaz.

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"Things went well," said Dempster. "My body felt good, my arm felt good. I was able to attack the strike zone for the most part. [It was a] good first day."

Cardinals starter Jamie Garcia also turned in a strong effort, scattering three hits and no runs over two innings. Garcia walked one and struck out two.

St. Louis came through with three runs on a bases-clearing double by Tony Cruz in the top of the third. Those runs were scored off Red Sox righty Clayton Mortensen, who is trying to win a spot in the bullpen.

The Red Sox, who didn't play any of their projected Opening Day regulars, produced their first burst of offense in the fifth, getting an RBI double by Ryan Lavarnway and an RBI single from Mauro Gomez.

The Cardinals erupted for a five-spot against Jose De La Torre in the sixth. Ryan Jackson belted a two-run single and Matt Adams capped the damage with a two-run homer.

Up next for the Cardinals: Lance Lynn makes his Grapefruit League debut for the Cardinals on Wednesday on MLB.TV as they travel to Port St. Lucie for a 12:10 p.m. CT game against the Mets. St. Louis will get a look at one of the game's most exciting pitching prospects as Zack Wheeler takes the mound for New York. It's the first of seven games between the Mets and Cardinals this spring.

Ian Browne is a reporter for Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne.

St. Louis Cardinals, Tony Cruz, Jaime Garcia