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A couple of injuries mean there's room on the Cardinal's 25 man roster for a fan favorite. Infielder Pete Kozma made the Opening Day squad after the team placed infielder Mark Ellis and pitchers Jaime Garcia and Jason Motte on the 15 day disabled list.
Ellis is out with tendinitis in his left knee. His move is retroactive to March 27th. The moves for both Garcia, who's still nursing his left shoulder, and Motte, out with a right elbow injury, are retroactive to March 21st. The Cardinals announced the Opening Day roster Sunday.
The Cardinals will face Cincinnati in Monday's 2014 season opener at Great American Ballpark. Redbird ace Adam Wainwright will face Cincinnati's Johnny Cueto. First pitch is at 3:10 p.m.
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The Cardinals 25-man Opening Day roster is as follows:
PITCHERS (12): Keith Butler-RHP, Randy Choate-LHP, Joe Kelly-RHP, Lance Lynn-RHP, Seth Maness-RHP, Carlos Martinez-RHP, Shelby Miller-RHP, Pat Neshek-RHP, Trevor Rosenthal-RHP, Kevin Siegrist-LHP, Michael Wacha-RHP, Adam Wainwright-RHP;
CATCHERS (2): Tony Cruz, Yadier Molina;
INFIELDERS (6): Matt Adams, Matt Carpenter, Daniel Descalso, Pete Kozma, Jhonny Peralta, Kolten Wong;
OUTFIELDERS (5): Peter Bourjos, Allen Craig, Matt Holliday, Jon Jay, Shane Robinson;
DISABLED LIST (3): Mark Ellis, Jaime Garcia, Jason Motte.
JUPITER, Fla. (AP) -- Michael Wacha looked sharp in his final spring start Thursday, giving up a run in five innings of the St. Louis Cardinals' 6-4 loss to the Miami Marlins.
Wacha gave up four hits and struck out six. He is scheduled to start the Cardinals' second game of the season, on Tuesday at Cincinnati. He will start the home opener in St. Louis on April 7.
Wacha did struggle in the fifth. Derek Dietrich led off with a walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch, moved to third on Marcell Ozuna's single and scored on Brian Bogusevic's sacrifice fly to right.
"It got a little away from me in that last inning, but overall I was pretty happy with it," Wacha said.
Marlins infielder Ed Lucas broke his left hand when he was hit by a pitch. His injury should make room for Donovan Solano, who was sent to Triple-A New Orleans earlier in the day.
The Marlins won all six games against the Cardinals this spring. After losing 100 games last season, they finished 2014 Grapefruit League play at 18-11-2.
"It doesn't matter what it is, if it's a pickup game or a spring training game - winning is winning," Miami manager Mike Redmond said. "We all like to win. It feels good for everybody."
The Cardinals were 11-13-2.
Cardinals: Shelby Miller will remain in Jupiter when the Cardinals head north on Friday. Miller will pitch in a minor league game on Saturday before rejoining the club. He is scheduled to start the Cardinals' fourth game of the season at Pittsburgh.
Marlins: Redmond named Tom Koehler as the club's fifth start, beating out Brad Hand, who will head to the bullpen. The Marlins will have a starting rotation of Jose Fernandez, Nathan Eovaldi, Henderson Alvarez, Jacob Turner and Koehler.
Cardinals: Reliever Jason Motte will face minor league hitters on Saturday. He is working his way back from elbow-ligament replacement surgery and could be ready for major league action by the end of April. ... Jaime Garcia is expected to throw another bullpen in the next couple days. No time frame has been set for his return.
Marlins: Though the team doesn't expect to make an official decision until Sunday, Redmond said he expects second baseman Rafael Furcal to begin the season on the disabled list. A sore hamstring has limited Furcal to 18 spring training at-bats.
Miami reassigned pitcher Henry Rodriguez to the minor leagues. Rodriguez, 5-7 with a 4.24 ERA in a five-year career that includes stints with Oakland, Washington and the Cubs, signed as a free agent in the offseason. Rodriguez has a clause in his contract allowing him to opt out of a minor league assignment. The 27-year-old righty struck out 14 and allowed six runs in nine Grapefruit League innings.
The Marlins also optioned outfielder Jake Marisnick to New Orleans. They reassigned pitcher Chris Hatcher, outfielder Matt Angle and infielders Juan Diaz and Austin Nola to the minor leagues.
The Cardinals employed a defensive shift against left-handed hitting Jarrod Saltalamacchia that moved third baseman Matt Carpenter into short right field, leaving shortstop Jhonny Peralta as the lone defender on the left side of the infield. Saltalamacchia hit the ball to the perfectly positioned Carpenter, who threw on to first for an unconventional 5-3 put out.
The Cardinals averaged 6,733 fans for their 14 home games at Roger Dean Stadium, an increase of more than 500 fans per game from last season. It's the largest average attendance in the Grapefruit League for St. Louis since 2010. The Marlins averaged 4,532 fans - which is more than 300 per game more than last spring.
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- T.J. Oshie scored three goals for his first NHL hat trick and Ryan Miller made 27 saves to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 5-1 rout over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night.
St. Louis has won three in a row overall and nine straight against the Wild. The Blues lead the NHL with 107 points.
Minnesota has lost six of eight.
Jaden Schwartz and Brenden Morrow also scored for St. Louis, which has points in its last 10 home games. Miller improved to 9-2-1 since being acquired from Buffalo on Feb. 28.
Zach Parise scored for the Wild, who had earned points in their previous three road games. Darcy Kuemper made 19 saves but fell to 12-8-4. He has won just twice in his last nine starts.
Oshie, who has a career-high 21 goals, scored twice in the first period - including a short-handed goal with 26 seconds left that made it 2-0.
He converted from the slot at 4:43 and then beat Kuemper on a breakaway for the Blues' fifth short-handed goal of the season.
Oshie tipped in a shot from Jay Bouwmeester at 7:18 of the third period to complete the hat trick.
The Blues posted a hat trick for the second straight game as Oshie matched David Backes' three-goal feat in St. Louis' 5-3 win at Toronto on Tuesday.
Schwartz netted his 23rd goal of the season on a power play midway through the second period.
St. Louis has killed 23 straight power plays against Minnesota over six games.
NOTES: Steve Cash and Josh Pauls, members of the USA's gold-medal winning Paralympic hockey team, were honored before the game. ... Minnesota began a four-game trip that also has stops at Phoenix, Los Angeles and Chicago. ... The Blues, shooting for their first Presidents' Trophy since the 1999-2000 season, lead Boston by one point in the overall standings. Both teams have nine games remaining. ... Minnesota LW Dany Heatley has gone a season-high 13 games without a goal.
TORONTO (AP) -- David Backes completed a hat trick with an empty-net goal to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 5-3 victory Tuesday night that sent the Toronto Maple Leafs to their sixth straight loss.
T.J. Oshie and former Leafs forward Alex Steen also scored for St. Louis, which passed Boston for the most points in the NHL with 105.
Ryan Miller made 21 saves to improve to 32-15-3 in his career against Toronto. The Blues have won 10 of 13 games since acquiring Miller and forward Steve Ott from Buffalo before the trade deadline.
Joffrey Lupul, Carl Gunnarsson and James van Riemsdyk scored for Toronto, which dropped out of a playoff spot for the first time since Jan. 14, coupled with Washington's shootout loss to Los Angeles.
The loss ruined the return of Toronto goalie Jonathan Bernier, who made 44 saves in his first game since reinjuring his groin on March 13
Bernier helped withstand an early barrage before the Maple Leafs scored first in a game for the first time since March 10 at Anaheim - seven games and six losses ago.
With Brenden Morrow in the box for high-sticking, the Leafs' second power-play unit cashed in. After getting robbed by Miller at the side of the net, Nazem Kadri batted the puck out of the air and right to Lupul at the side of the net at 11:30 of the first period.
The Leafs' lead didn't last long, as Oshie tipped a shot from Roman Polak down and dived to knock the puck in at 15:55.
Had the Leafs been able to keep the score tied at 1 by the first intermission, they might've been able to make it a game. Instead, van Riemsdyk took an ill-advised interference penalty in the final minute to set up a memorable miscue by Phaneuf.
With a chance to send the puck down the ice on the penalty kill, Phaneuf wound up twice and held onto it just long enough for Oshie to poke it away. Seconds after the turnover, Backes beat Bernier clean with 32.3 seconds left.
The Blues' 23 first-period shots were the most the Leafs have given up this season.
Considering that, their second period was a strong improvement. Unlike the first, when they were hemmed in their own zone and needed Bernier to make big save after big save, the Leafs opened things up on the Blues and traded some chances.
They couldn't cash in, but the Blues did, as Backes scored his second of the night at 7:32 after a brilliant pass from Alex Pietrangelo.
At 17:35, St. Louis added the dagger when Steen beat Phaneuf in a net-front battle and then flipped a back-hand shot past Bernier for his 31st goal.
Down 4-1, Pietrangelo turned the puck over to Gunnarsson, who blasted a shot by Miller to cut the deficit to two.
Van Riemsdyk added a goal at 15:54 to make it 4-3, Backes' empty-netter sealed it for St. Louis.
NOTES: With Bernier back, the Leafs sent G Drew MacIntyre back to the AHL's Toronto Marlies. ... Defenseman Paul Ranger was scratched for the third straight game with a neck injury.
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Neil Watson scored 18 points and Aaron Brown added 16 to help Southern Mississippi beat Missouri 71-63 in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament on Sunday.
Southern Mississippi (29-6) has won eight of its past nine games and will play at No. 1 seed Minnesota on Tuesday for the right to go to the semifinals at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Jeremiah Eason's layup broke a 14-14 tie with 9:34 remaining in the first half and the Golden Eagles led the rest of the way. Missouri cut its deficit to three points on a 3-pointer by Earnest Ross with 14:41 left, but the Tigers could get no closer.
Ross scored 22 points while Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson both added 13 for Missouri (23-12), which fell to 2-8 all-time in NIT games.
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma wants his high-powered team to get used to playing tight-checking playoff hockey before the postseason begins next month.
St. Louis doesn't need the lure of the playoffs as an excuse to get stingy. The space-eating Blues have been doing it all year, and it showed in a taut 1-0 road win on Sunday.
Frustrating the NHL's best power play during a pivotal two-man disadvantage at the start of the second period, the Blues continued their mastery of the Eastern Conference by beating the Penguins the way they've beaten so many teams this season.
The room to maneuver that Pittsburgh stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin usually enjoy disappeared as St. Louis clogged passing lanes and dictated play defensively.
David Backes deflected a slap shot by Alexander Steen past Marc-Andre Fleury midway through the third period for the game's only goal and Brian Elliott stopped 33 shots to pick up his fourth shutout of the season as the Blues moved three points clear of Chicago in the race for the best record in the Western Conference.
"When you're in a tight game like that against a good team, the guys kind of rose up to the challenge and I tried to make a couple saves and get the rebounds out of the zone and they did the rest," Elliott said.
Fleury made 26 saves for the Penguins but watched Backes' deflection carom off his glove and into the net just after a penalty against Malkin expired.
"I just saw the guy raise his stick for the shot," Fleury said. "There were a bunch of people in front. I tried to cover some net but I didn't see it go in.
St. Louis bounced back from a one-sided loss at Philadelphia on Saturday to improve the league's best road record to 23-11-3. Pittsburgh's top-ranked power play went 0-for-5 a day after scoring three times in a win over Tampa Bay.
When Elliott wasn't getting a pad on the puck, his teammates were. The Blues blocked 25 shots, with the Penguins' frustration growing at every turn as the Blues improved to 20-5-2 against the Eastern Conference, the best interconference record in the league.
Pittsburgh had a 5-on-3 power play at the beginning of the second period for more than 90 seconds without being able to sneak something by Elliott. Most of the time the Penguins struggled generating a shot as the Blues effectively disrupted Pittsburgh's rhythm.
"We just kind of cleared lanes and I was able to see the ones they took," Elliott said. "Whenever guys are moving big guys out of the way, it just helps and you saw guys get in front of shots, block them and clear them down."
Malkin was called for high-sticking 9:17 into the third and he was barely out of the box and back on the ice when Backes gave St. Louis the lead. The puck cycled to the point and Alexander Steen fired a slap shot that Backes found a way to nick as it sailed by. His 24th goal of the year proved more than enough.
Elliott wobbled several times - including at least two saves where it appeared the puck was creeping to the goal line when the whistle blew - but didn't collapse. When the clock expired after one last clear up the zone, the game ended with the unusual sight of Malkin trying to mix it up with Alex Pietrangelo.
Bylsma said coming into an important weekend he wanted his team to get used to playing tightly contested, low-scoring games. Pittsburgh survived one on Saturday, rallying for a 4-3 overtime win against the streaking Lightning that featured 40 minutes of clamp-down hockey and 22 minutes of frantic play.
The Blues, who have positioned themselves into contenders in the West by sealing off the net, would not be lulled into the kind of end-to-end stretches that allow the Penguins to run free.
"We still want to do a better job in these games and win them," Crosby said. "We have done a pretty good job of being patient when we've been in these kinds of games."
At times, Bylsma wonders if his club was too patient, particularly in the first period.
"The first 20 minutes we backed them off with speed," he said. "We had some opportunities and needed to have more of a drive and shoot mentality."
NOTES: The Penguins played with seven defensemen instead of six, a move Bylsma said was needed in a game where he knew open ice would be at a premium. ... St. Louis plays in Toronto on Tuesday while the Penguins host Phoenix on Tuesday.
JUPITER, Fla. (AP) -- Joe Kelly was told that he will be the Cardinals' No. 5 starter after taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning Sunday in St. Louis' 6-3 victory over the Houston Astros.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said Carlos Martinez will go to the bullpen.
"We are just in a spot where we've got to try and figure out what is best for our club," said Matheny, noting that Martinez is a proven commodity in the bullpen.
Kelly lost a competition last spring to Shelby Miller, but moved from the bullpen to the starting rotation later in the year. He started 15 games for the Cardinals in the regular season and four more in the postseason and has a 3.08 ERA.
Martinez thrived in the setup role late last season, including in the playoffs. He will return to eighth inning duty, setting up closer Trevor Rosenthal, despite allowing only three earned runs and striking out nine in 15 1-3 spring innings.
"I believe that he is eventually going to be a starter and I believe he is going to be a very good one, but right now we need him to help our club out of the bullpen," Matheny said.
Kelly's control fluctuated in Sunday's start, during which he struck out five but also walked four. He allowed two runs and two hits in the sixth and didn't get an out before being lifted.
"I wouldn't say it was great, by any means," Kelly said before learning he would be in the rotation. "The walks are just something that I absolutely don't like."
Shortstop Jhonny Peralta gave the Cardinals the lead in the second with his third homer of the spring. Matt Holliday hit his first in the third and Matt Adams also connected in the third, a two-run shot off Astros starter Jerome Williams.
Williams gave up six runs and nine hits in four innings.
"It was one of those days where balls were finding the bats and balls were finding the holes," Williams said. "I left about three or four pitches up and they took advantage of them."
Closer Trevor Rosenthal took a comebacker off his backside in the ninth. The ball caromed to third baseman Daniel Descalso, who threw to first in time to get Marwin Gonzalez. Rosenthal remained in the game and recorded the save.
Astros: Williams has allowed 10 runs in 7 2-3 innings over his past two Grapefruit League outings.
"It's kind of bad that it's happening now at end the of spring," Williams said. "Hopefully I can just turn it around before the season starts."
Cardinals: While Matheny named Kelly to the starting rotation, he declined to give the order in which the starters will appear. Adam Wainwright will be the Cardinals opening-day starter. He will be followed, in an order to be announced later by Lance Lynn, Michael Wacha, Shelby Miller and Kelly.
Cardinals: Jaime Garcia threw a 25-pitch bullpen session from the mound for the first time since the second week of spring. Garcia had experienced soreness in his surgically-repaired shoulder. He was expected to contend for the Cardinals' fifth starting spot before experiencing the discomfort.
Reliever Jason Motte is scheduled to long toss on Monday as he works his way back from ligament replacement surgery.
The Cardinals sent five players to the minors - one of whom was 23-year-old Aledmys Diaz. The newly-signed Cuban shortstop went 3 for 5 in two major league games before heading to Double-A Springfield.
"He just kind of plays a little more experienced baseball than you would expect him to," Matheny said.
DOWN TO THREE
St. Louis also optioned reliever Sam Freeman and outfielder Joey Butler to Triple-A Memphis. With Freeman gone, that leaves Jorge Rondon, Keith Butler and Scott McGregor competing for the final spot in the Cardinals' bullpen. The Cardinals also optioned infielder Greg Garcia to Triple-A Memphis and re-assigned infielder Luis Mateo to minor league camp.
MORE TO COME
Houston manager Bo Porter expects first baseman Chris Carter to produce better offensive statistics than 2013's breakthrough season in which he hit 29 home runs but only posted a .239 average.
"I think just the experience of playing everyday last year will help in that regard - lower strikeouts, more contact, more homers," Porter said.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Saint Louis did something it hasn't done all season Saturday — and it proved costly against defending national champion Louisville.
The Billikens went 0 for 15 from 3-point range in a 66-51 loss in the third round of the NCAA tournament.
They shot long, came up short, missed to both sides and even had a couple blocked. It was easily the team's worst long-ranging shooting performance of the season.
Saint Louis, a 32-percent shooting team from behind the arc this season, had made at least two 3s in every game and had 190 total. They hit 9 of 18 treys in Thursday's come-from-behind, overtime victory against North Carolina State.
"I thought we took a lot of good shots today," said forward Dwayne Evans, who led the way with 16 points but missed his only 3-point attempt. "They weren't falling, but we had the right guys in the right spots."
Saint Louis (27-7) shot 40 percent from the field.
Mike McCall Jr. missed all six of his 3-pointers. Jake Barnett (0-4), Jordair Jett (0-2), Rob Loe (0-1) and Austin McBroom (0-1) also misfired from that distance.
"We're going to keep taking shots if they're good shots," coach Jim Crews said. "We don't have a plan before a game to say, 'OK, we're going to take X number of 3s in this game and that game.' We don't do that because I think that you've got to have a balance to be really good."
The champs had a lot to do with Saint Louis' struggles.
Louisville (31-5) mixed defenses repeatedly, using man-to-man, the 2-3 zone and even a little 1-1-3 to make sure no Billikens could get open looks from the corners.
"We wanted to smother the 3," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. "This team reminds me of Colorado State last year: Extremely well coached in all phases of the game. And we felt if we gave up the 3 we could get beat tonight, so we will take that away."
It worked to perfection.
Louisville made six treys. Luke Hancock, who finished with 21 points, drained two 3s midway through the second half that helped the Cardinals create some cushion in a tight game.
Saint Louis just couldn't answer.
The Cardinals have the size and athleticism to close out on the 3-point line, and it showed Saturday.
Making matters worse for the Billikens, they had 18 turnovers. Louisville had nine steals to go with five blocks.
"They're very good defensively," Crews said. "They change things up. They do press and they play zone and have different shifts and so forth, and they mix it up with man. They keep you a little bit off balance with that, which is a good thing because basketball is a rhythmic game and they keep you out of rhythm with it."