Gordon gets first spring hit, Marlins beat Cardinals 5-3
JUPITER, Fla. (AP) Reigning NL batting champion Dee Gordon singled for his first hit of spring training after an 0-for-10 start and the Miami Marlins beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-3 on Wednesday.
Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina made a sweeping tag play at the plate to save a run in his first appearance of the year. He didn't bat, protecting his surgically repaired left thumb for another week or so. He caught three innings wearing a splint that manager Mike Matheny recommended be worn throughout the year.
''It was about exactly what we needed,'' Matheny said. ''It was great.''
Molina was pleased passing the first test.
''Everything is good, everything is progressing,'' the catcher said. ''Hopefully before opening day I'll be 100 percent, but you never know.''
Gordon, who batted .333 last year, got his hit off Marco Gonzales and scored in the third.
Mike Leake, who signed an $80 million, five-year deal in the offseason, worked two scoreless innings in his first spring start for St. Louis. Adam Conley allowed one hit in 2 2/3 innings in his second start for Miami.
Justin Bour had two hits and two RBIs for Miami. Patrick Wisdom had a two-run homer for St. Louis.
Marlins: Conley was 4-1 in 15 games last year as a rookie and is contending for a spot in the rotation.
''It's not a sure thing I'm going to get a job,'' Conley said. ''So I'm trying to develop my stuff for the long haul, for when I'm pitching in September and hopefully the playoffs, but at the same I'm trying to show them the best version of myself.''
Cardinals: Leake threw 25 pitches. He overcame second baseman Kolten Wong's fielding error to start the second, also benefiting from center fielder Randal Grichuk's strong throw to the plate to catch Bour. He said he let Molina dictate the calls.
''For me it's more getting used to the ups and downs and kind of dusting the cobwebs off,'' Leake said. ''Probably next one I'll incorporate a few more certain pitches I like to throw.''
Marlins: RF Giancarlo Stanton missed his fourth game in a row because of a sore right knee but worked out and said it felt better. Closer A.J. Ramos (calf), who has yet to appear in a game, threw live batting practice.
Cardinals: The team had no update on shortstop Jhonny Peralta, sent back to St. Louis for a second opinion after injuring his left thumb making a diving play. Molina won't make the trip to Port St. Lucie to face the Mets on Thursday.
Marlins: RHP Jose Urena is scheduled to start Thursday against Atlanta.
Cardinals: Lefty Jaime Garcia makes his second spring start Thursday at Port St. Lucie against the Mets, facing Noah Syndergaard.
Marlins third baseman Derek Dietrich, who has struggled defensively throughout his career, failed to make a play charging consecutive grounders in the fourth. One was ruled an error, the other a hit.
''Those were some tough plays,'' manager Don Mattingly said. ''You've got to make that play on the run.''
Bour's RBI single against Marco Gonzales was noteworthy because he had only 15 hits off lefties as a rookie last year while hitting 23 homers. The Marlins want him to be their everyday first baseman.
FIRST BASE SAGA
Matheny said it's ''not a priority'' for Stephen Piscotty to get work at first base. The team wants him to concentrate on the outfield and already has Brandon Moss, Matt Adams and now Matt Holliday at the position.