Grudzielanek stars in win vs. Marlins

Monday, March 28, 2005

JUPITER, Fla. -- Mark Grudzielanek had three hits, raising his spring training average to .380 in the St. Louis Cardinals' 7-3 win over the Florida Marlins on Sunday.

"There has been no pressure," said Grudzielanek, St. Louis' new second baseman. "It has been a good spring because my head is clear. I don't have a whole lot of stress and the guys have made it easy for me."

Grudzielanek, showing no signs of the sore Achilles' tendon that limited him to 81 games with the Chicago Cubs last year, has been working well with new shortstop David Eckstein.

"It is nice to have the whole spring to work together," Grudzielanek said. "We keep getting better and better."

Cardinals starter Jason Marquis bounced back from two rough outings, allowing two runs and two hits in six innings. Both runs came on a home run by Alex Gonzalez.

"I wasn't concerned," Marquis said, "but it is a little embarrassing to give up three or four runs even in spring training. But with only two or three more starts in spring training I needed to come around.

"My game is to get ahead early in the count and let my defense work for me, then keep the ball down in the zone."

Albert Pujols doubled and drove in two runs for St. Louis.

Florida left-hander Al Leiter gave up eight hits and three walks in five innings. He allowed six runs, all in the third.


* The Cardinals reassigned infielders Bo Hart and Scott Seabol, outfielder John Gall and catcher Mike Mahoney to their Class AAA affiliate in Memphis.

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