JUPITER, Fla. -- Lance Lynn's three scoreless innings against Houston on Wednesday reassured St. Louis manager Mike Matheny that the 24-year-old is the right choice to temporarily replace Chris Carpenter should the veteran prove not ready for the start of the season.
Lynn, who was Termed "Plan B" earlier in the week by Matheny, retired the final eight batters he faced in his first spring start, which the Cardinals lost 4-3 to Houston.
"I wanted to go back out, but I already had 40 pitches," said Lynn, whose fastball hit 96 mph on the stadium radar gun.
Lynn was destined for the bullpen at the start of the spring, but the Cardinals announced earlier in the week that he would be treated like a starter until Carpenter shows he can return to the rotation.
The only place Lynn really struggled Wednesday was in his warmup tosses, which he finished too early.
"I have to find the routine I'm going to use," Lynn said. "In Triple-A, I usually started earlier. I don't know whether I just got loose faster or what it was. Next time I will go a little later so I won't have to wait around."
Lynn made his major league debut in 2011. He went 1-1 with a 3.12 ERA in 18 appearances, including two starts. He appeared in 10 postseason games and went 2-0. His only spring appearances before Wednesday came in relief.
"He looked great today," Matheny said.