Reyes helps his case with scoreless outing

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

JUPITER, Fla. -- Anthony Reyes turned in his strongest start of the spring, allowing three hits in four scoreless innings as the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Atlanta Braves 4-2 on Monday in exhibition play.

Reyes, 2-14 last year, is competing for a spot at the end of an injury-wracked rotation that was bolstered last week when Kyle Lohse signed a one-year free-agent contract.

Either Reyes or Brad Thompson, who starts Wednesday after going 8-6 with a 4.73 ERA last year, is likely to get the fifth spot in the Cardinals rotation. Reyes is trying not to think about it.

"I'm just having fun this year, that's my biggest thing, and not worrying about competing for a job because that'll take something out of you," Reyes said. "For me, if I'm having fun, it's usually followed by success.

"That was part of my game and I kind of lost that the last couple of years, but I'm coming with a different attitude and just enjoying it."

Rick Ankiel, who's batting .362 heading into his first full season as a starting outfielder, hit a go-ahead, two-run double off Atlanta's Blaine Boyer in the sixth inning.

Cardinals shortstop Cesar Izturis committed his sixth error of the spring, one more than his hit total, and was 0-for-2 to drop his average to .139.

St. Louis' Chris Duncan was 0-for-2, is hitless in 22 at-bats this month and is batting .038 overall (1-for-26).

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