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03/28/2012 7:12 PM EDT
Wainwright uneven in Cardinals' win over Tigers
ST LOUIS 9, DETROIT 5

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) -- Before St. Louis' 9-5 victory over Detroit
on Wednesday, pitcher Adam Wainwright felt he was ready for the
start of the season.



After allowing four runs - three earned - in 4 2/3 innings,
Wainwright welcomed an upcoming outing against Cardinals minor
leaguers as a final tune-up for the regular season.



"I was not good, that's for sure," Wainwright said. "That's the
good thing about spring training, I have four days to go out and
work on some stuff and get back and be ready for my next turn."



Fighting an out-of-sync delivery that caused him to leave the
ball up much of the afternoon, Wainwright allowed his first
earned runs of the spring in the third. Jhonny Peralta broke the
scoreless tie with a single to right, driving in Austin Jackson.
Two batters later Brennan Boesch and Jackson scored on Andy
Dirks' single to center.



Coming off of ligament replacement surgery that forced him to
miss all of 2011, Wainwright had pitched 16 1/3 innings without
allowing an earned run.



St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said he wasn't surprised
Wainwright finally plodded through a tough outing.



"What wouldn't be expected is all the outings we've seen up to
this point - that he competes and thinks his way through things
when he doesn't have his best stuff. That's pitching," Matheny
said.



Wainwright attributed the poor outing more to the extended
lay-off following the surgery, adding that his surgically
repaired arm felt fine.



"I don't know if it's good for anything other than it refocuses
me," Wainwright said. "It shows me that I've got more work to
do."



Matheny said Wainwright won't accompany the team when they
travel to Springfield for an exhibition against their Class AA
club on Monday. Instead, Wainwright will throw in Jupiter,
either in a minor league spring training game or in a simulation
against live batters.



Drew Smyly, Wainwright's mound counterpart for Detroit, also
lasted 4 2/3 innings, allowing three earned runs against a St.
Louis line-up that could be the one Matheny uses on opening day.



In a three-way battle to be the Tigers' fifth starting pitcher,
Smyly, a Tigers' second-round selection in the 2010 draft, said
afterward that the outing proved he was ready should he be
chosen to begin the season in the majors.



"When you are facing that lineup three times in one game and you
are able to have success, that definitely boosts your
confidence," Smyly said.



The Cardinals scored their first run when Carlos Beltran's liner
ricocheted off Smyly's left foot into foul ground on the first
base side, allowing Wainwright to score. One batter later Furcal
scored on Matt Holliday's ground out to short.



Tyler Greene supplied the final run off Smyly, smacking his
second home run of the spring to lead off the fifth.



The Cardinals used a three-run seventh to pull away for the
victory, their eighth in a 10 game stretch that also includes a
tie.



NOTES: Matheny said the club wants to ensure they are not
pushing Allen Craig too quickly as he tries to return from
off-season knee surgery. While Craig could still be on the
opening day roster, Matheny made it sound as though it's more
likely Craig would start the season on the DL in an effort to
ensure he would be available for the final 150 games of the
year. ...Outfielder Skip Schumaker (oblique) threw with
teammates prior to the game, but has yet to hit the ball.
Schumaker is almost assured of starting the season on the DL.
...Reigning American League batting champion Miguel Cabrera was
cleared by doctors on Tuesday to resume baseball activities but
did not make the trip to Jupiter on Wednesday. Detroit manager
Jim Leyland said Cabrera could be in the line-up at third base
as early as Thursday. Cabrera took a ground ball to the face on
March 19, breaking a bone below his right eye..

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