FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Tuesday's 6-1 win over the Red Sox may have just been the fifth game of Spring Training, but Cardinals manager Mike Matheny plans on keeping the game card, maybe even framing it one day.Years from now, Matheny won't go back to see how Kolten Wong's bunt
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Tuesday's 6-1 win over the Red Sox may have just been the fifth game of Spring Training, but Cardinals manager Mike Matheny plans on keeping the game card, maybe even framing it one day.
Years from now, Matheny won't go back to see how Kolten Wong's bunt led to two runs, or where Andrew Knizner's solo homer landed atop JetBlue Park's Green Monster replica. He'll present the card to his grandson, Ryker, and explain how the souvenir commemorates a family milestone.
This is the second year Matheny got to share a Spring Training field with his eldest son, Tate, an outfielder in camp with the Red Sox. But it is the first spring that Ryker -- Tate's young son -- was in the building as well. For the first time, three generations of Matheny men took part, in some way, in the same game.
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Mike managed. Tate played center field. Ryker watched from the stands.
"Pretty cool stuff," Mike Matheny said. "It's pretty unique."
And yes, Ryker can be included in that, too, even though he's less than a year old. That's because he's technically part of the Red Sox's organization after the club presented him with an honorary contract last year.
"That's something that's done for all the newborns," Mike Matheny said. "I've signed a bunch of them."
Tate Matheny entered as a defensive replacement in the seventh and walked in his only at-bat in the eighth. Before the game, he presented the Red Sox's lineup card and discussed ground rules with the umpires, across from his dad.
"How many people have been able to have a moment like that?" Mike Matheny said. "It's rare. The father-son thing doesn't happen very often. That's something that he's been dreaming about a long time. He loves the game, so it's fun seeing him do what he loves to do and being recognized for how he does it."
Red Sox manager Alex Cora plans to bat Tate leadoff on Friday when Boston makes its own cross-state trip to play the Cardinals in Jupiter, Fla.
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Drafted in the fourth round in 2015 after a lauded career at Missouri State University, Tate is the oldest of the Cardinals manager's five children. He's improved in each of his three Minor League seasons, setting career highs in on-base percentage and slugging last season at Class A Advanced Salem, where he stole 27 bases.
Back in Jupiter, first baseman Matt Carpenter told reporters he's "not concerned at all" about the stiff back that has kept him sidelined since the first week of camp, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Carpenter stood in on reliever Luke Gregerson's bullpen to track pitches and performed footwork and agility drills. That's considered progress after Carpenter spent much of the past week on the trainer's table.
Oscar Mercado's tools and instincts -- blazing speed, "a burglar's instinct," as Matheny calls it, meaning a desire to steal bases, and grace and range in the outfield -- continue to open eyes and spark conversation this spring. Given his age and development, though, the 23-year-old still sits on the periphery of the club's fourth-outfielder battle, which continued Tuesday.
It was a quieter day for all involved on that front, actually, after the cadre of young outfielders spent the weekend dazzling alongside each other:
• Mercado drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and walked in five plate appearances. He also committed a youthful mistake when he was doubled off first base following a bad read on a sinking line drive in the first.
• Adolis Garcia didn't take advantage of a bases-loaded at-bat in the sixth, stranding three with a groundout. Garcia went hitless in two at bats.
• Randy Arozarena went 1-for-4 with a walk and a run scored.
• Harrison Bader and Tyler O'Neill were in uniform, but both got the entire day off
The Cardinals conclude their only Gulf Coast trip of the spring with a 12:05 p.m. CT start against the Orioles in Sarasota, Fla., on Wednesday. Jack Flaherty will look to build on a strong first start as the rookie right-hander eyes a spot in the back end of the rotation. Watch on MLB Network or MLB.TV or listen to Gameday Audio or an exclusive audio webcast.
Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.