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Holliday hits 2 doubles as Cardinals beat Mets

Sunday, 02 March 2014 22:36 Published in Sports
 
JUPITER, Fla. (AP) -- Matt Holliday doubled in both at-bats and drove in two runs Sunday for the St. Louis Cardinals in a 7-1 win over the New York Mets.
 
Holliday didn't play in the Cardinals' spring training opener on Friday. He singled and walked in two plate appearances as the designated hitter Saturday.
 
"I feel good," said Holliday, who played left field for the first time this spring. "It's two days into spring training, so I don't put too much into it, but having good at-bats is always a positive. You just try to roll it into the next day."
 
Holliday's first double came off starter Daisuke Matsuzaka, who's competing for the fifth spot in the Mets' rotation.
 
"I gave up a run in the first inning today, but I think all my pitches are very good at this point of the year except for my slider. I think that needs a little bit more work," Matsuzaka said through a translator.
 
A 30-pitch first inning that included two walks kept Cardinals starter Michael Wacha from getting out of the second. He reached his pitch cap after retiring the first two batters of the second without allowing a run.
 
"I was happy with it," Wacha said. "Arm felt great. Body felt great. Command wasn't where I wanted it to be. Hopefully that will come along."
 
STARTING TIME
 
New York: Manager Terry Collins liked what he saw out of Matsuzaka's first spring start. Collins said the chase for the fifth spot in the starting rotation will likely come down to Matsuzaka or John Lannan.
 
Matsuzaka began last season in the Cleveland minor league system before being granted his release. He sidestepped a question about his willingness to play in the minors again, saying, "I'll think about that if that happens."
 
Cardinals: Wacha has impressed manager Mike Matheny with the way he's handled expectations.
 
"I think he's got a maturity to him, especially as young as he is, to handle that distraction. Because that can be a distraction," Matheny said.
 
TRAINER'S ROOM
 
Mets: Shortstop Ruben Tejada was scratched from the lineup after he experienced a tight left hamstring during pregame workouts. Collins said Tejada was held out as a precaution. Tejada will not play in Monday's game against Atlanta, either.
 
Cardinals: Arm soreness slowed reliever Kevin Siegrist for a couple of days earlier this spring. The left-hander made his first Grapefruit League appearance on Sunday, allowing one hit in a scoreless ninth.
 
MR. MATCHUP
 
Randy Choate is the Cardinals' lefty specialist out of the bullpen, but early in spring he's facing both right-handed and left-handed hitters. Matheny said frequent lineup changes early in the spring make it difficult to play for matchups, so he would rather see Choate get his work regardless of the opposing hitter.
 
When minor league play begins, Choate may play in some of those games to get the desired lefty-lefty matchups, with Choate entering major league games later in the spring in situations that would mimic the regular season.
 
SPEED DEMON
 
Matheny said he's looking for offseason acquisition Peter Bourjos to be an offensive "menace." He wants Bourjos to grind out his at-bats and get on base, noting that the speedy Bourjos is in scoring position as soon as he gets on base. The Cardinals got him in the offseason trade that sent David Freese to the Angels.

Hot-shooting Missouri whips Mississippi State

Saturday, 01 March 2014 19:41 Published in Sports
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Jabari Brown scored 21 points and Missouri set season bests with 62 percent shooting and 19 assists to whip Mississippi State 85-66 on Saturday.
 
Jordan Clarkson had 14 points, seven assists and five rebounds and reserve Keanu Post added career bests of 14 points and seven rebounds for the Tigers (20-9, 8-8 SEC), who shook off a pair of losses at Georgia and Alabama. The school is 14-2 at home and reached 20 victories for the sixth straight season, dominating against an opponent that entered with an RPI of 223.
 
A trio of Missouri big men — Post, Torren Jones and Ryan Rosburg — combined to make all 13 shots. Missouri shot just 32 percent its last time out, losing by 15 at Georgia.
 
Fred Thomas matched his season best with 18 points for Mississippi State (13-16, 3-13), which has lost 11 in a row — eight of them by double digits. The Bulldogs had a season-best 10 3-pointers, four by Thomas and three by Jacoby Davis.
 
Brown had five points and Missouri had a pair of 3-pointers in a 15-0 run that put the game away at 68-41 with 11:12 to go. Mississippi State went almost 6 minutes without scoring before Davis' 3-pointer near the mid-point of the second half.
 
Clarkson went end-to-end twice, getting a layup and dunk, during an 11-2 run that gave Missouri its largest lead of the first half at 39-26 with 3:59 to go. Post's tip-in at the buzzer, allowed after video review, put the Tigers up 45-32 at the break.
 
Mississippi State played without leading scorer Craig Sword, who attended his grandmother's funeral in Alabama. Sword averages 13 points.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A St. Louis County woman is charged with felony assault after reportedly stabbing a Normandy police officer in the face with a steak knife.
 
KSDK-TV reports that Tinisha Washington is jailed on a $150,000 bond after the Tuesday night incident. Normandy Police Chief Frank Mininni says his officer is expected to make a full recovery and return to work next week.
 
Police say the incident began as a domestic disturbance call involving Washington and her mother. Washington was behind a locked bedroom door which she opened slightly when the attack occurred.
 
The chief says his officer was stabbed so forcefully that the knife bent. In addition to a charge of first-degree assault on a law enforcement officer, Washington is also charged with armed criminal action and resisting arrest.
 

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