Redbirds win again with Ponson

Monday, March 20, 2006

The right-hander threw five strong innings in St. Louis' 11-2 win over the Braves.

JUPITER, Fla. -- St. Louis starter Sidney Ponson allowed two runs and four hits in five solid innings and the Cardinals beat the Atlanta Braves 11-2 on Sunday.

Ponson, who signed with St. Louis in the offseason, walked two and had one strikeout.

"He made a couple of mistakes, but I thought he was solid," Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa said.

Josh Hancock, Ricardo Rincon, Jeff Nelson and Brad Thompson each threw one perfect inning as St. Louis retired 12 straight batters to close out the game. Hancock and Nelson each recorded two strikeouts. The two right-handers continue to battle for spots in the Cardinals' bullpen.

Rincon recorded two groundouts in his inning. It was his first appearance since playing for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic.

"I'll do whatever it takes to get ready for the season," Rincon said. "I like it here."

Tim Hudson started for the Braves and went five innings, allowing four runs on four hits with four walks and three strikeouts.

Scott Rolen went 1-for-2 against Hudson. He had an RBI groundout in the first inning and a two-run single in the third.

Skip Schumaker also went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored for St. Louis and John Gall hit a three-run home run to left field in the eighth inning.

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