PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Adam Wainwright found a way to get the job done without his best stuff.
Wainwright, who is 13 months removed from elbow surgery, pitched around an infield error, a walk and a groundball base hit to keep the Mets scoreless through three innings in his second start of the spring, and the Cardinals rolled to a 7-1 win Tuesday.
The right-hander got rid of two baserunners on a pair of double plays, and after struggling with his command in the second inning, he bounced back to record three outs on 10 pitches. Wainwright missed all of last season and pitched for the first time since September 2010 last week.
"When you look at the scoreboard, it's just fine, but I wasn't really controlling my body real well, getting my arm in a position to throw the ball," Wainwright said. "I've got a little work to do. But the good thing about pitching is the days that you don't necessarily feel great, you can still go out there and find a way. My arm felt great. My body felt great. I just wasn't getting in the right position. You have days like that."
Mets starter Mike Pelfrey was optimistic about his outing despite less impressive results. Pelfrey left some pitches up early, and the Cardinals took advantage for a 3-0 lead after two innings. David Freese, the World Series MVP, hit a two-run shot over the right-field wall with one out in the first inning, and Yadier Molina led off the second with a home run to left.
Freese also had a three-run homer Monday.
Pelfrey gave up four runs on six hits over 4 1/3 innings but didn't walk a batter.
Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran went 1 for 4 with a run scored facing his old team for the first time. Beltran, who was traded to the Giants by the Mets last July, made his spring debut in the field. He played six innings there after nursing a sore shoulder and sitting out with the flu.