Cardinals say Adam Wainwright to make 1st start Saturday

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) The St. Louis Cardinals say ace Adam Wainwright is to make his first spring training start on Saturday against Atlanta.

Wainwright sustained a mild abdominal strain early in spring training. He has thrown a pair of bullpen sessions since the injury, including about 40 pitches in a simulated game Monday. Wainwright is to throw another bullpen session on Thursday, and manager Mike Matheny expects him to make 50-60 pitches Saturday.

Matheny said Tuesday that if all goes well, Wainwright would start every five days for the remainder of spring training, a timetable that may allow Wainwright to pitch the major league season opener at the Chicago Cubs on April 5.

Wainwright was 20-9 with a 2.38 ERA last year, then underwent offseason elbow surgery to remove cartilage from his throwing elbow. He began the year 12-4 with a 1.83 ERA and started the All-Star Game for the NL, then went 8-5 with a 3.24 ERA.

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