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Cards pick up win over Marlins


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McKay hits three-run triple; Beckett retires 10 of last 11

By Matthew Leach / MLB.com



JUPITER, Fla. -- Cody McKay's three-run triple was the big blow in a four-run first as the Cardinals beat the Marlins, 5-2, at Roger Dean Stadium on Friday. The game was the Marlins' last before they head to Mexico City for a pair of weekend exhibition games against the Astros.

Jason Simontacchi, a last-minute starter for St. Louis after Alan Benes suffered a strained oblique muscle, pitched three innings for his first win of the spring. He permitted two hits, one of them an infield single, and walked one against one strikeout. World Series MVP Josh Beckett took the loss, though he settled down to retire 10 of the last 11 batters he faced after the first-inning outburst. Beckett finished with a line of four runs, all earned, on five hits. He struck out five and walked two.


Albert Pujols' two-out single kicked off the winning rally. The slugger then stole second base and scored on Ray Lankford's single. A pair of walks loaded the bases for McKay, who ripped a ball to right-center to make it 4-0. McKay, the son of Cardinals first-base coach Dave McKay, was making a rare start at third base. He is a catcher by trade.


Pujols' fifth-inning double scored Marlon Anderson for the Redbirds' final run. Florida closed the gap in the ninth against struggling Cal Eldred when Ryan Christenson smacked a two-run homer over the left-field wall.


St. Louis improved to 3-7 on the spring and won consecutive games for the first time this year. Florida fell to 7-3. The two co-tenants of Roger Dean Stadium have split two meetings thus far, and they have three head-to-head games remaining.

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