Sanchez answers questions about health in Marlins' win over Cards

Friday, March 30, 2012

JUPITER, Fla. -- Anibal Sanchez put to rest any questions about the Miami Marlins' rotation.

Sanchez allowed a run over five innings, including Carlos Beltran's second homer, and the Miami Marlins beat the St. Louis Cardinals 3-1 on Thursday.

Sanchez had been limited to three starts this spring because of a sore shoulder. He gave up two hits and a walk.

Matt Holliday walked and David Freese singled after Beltran's homer, and Sanchez pitched out of the jam.

"I feel great," Sanchez said. "I feel ready for long games."

Cardinals starter Lance Lynn matched Sanchez, allowing one run on five hits over five innings. Lynn, who is taking the place of the injured Chris Carpenter in the Cardinals rotation, will start the Cardinals' fourth game, April 8 in Milwaukee.

"If he gives us outings like that, we're going to be very happy," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "He came in with the mindset of being a late reliever, and to make the transition isn't always the easiest thing. He's made a good transition."

Daniel Pertusati, a minor leaguer who never has played higher than Class A, hit a tying homer off Lynn in the fifth.

The Marlins were not sure what to expect from Sanchez after he developed soreness in his throwing shoulder early in camp and missed a couple of starts. But Sanchez has recovered nicely and after throwing 71 pitches Thursday, he is in line to be the fifth starter and will make his season debut April 9 in Philadelphia. He will pitch in a minor league game next week.

"I thought he threw the ball very good," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Outstanding job."

The Marlins have scored a major-league low 67 runs during the spring.

"The one thing I am very happy with is the way we're pitching," Guillen said. "We're going to hit."

Cardinals reliever Kyle McClellan gave up the go-ahead run in the sixth. Chris Coghlan led off with a single and scored on a single by Hanley Ramirez and a throwing error by outfielder Erik Komatsu. McClellan also walked two in the inning.

Brett Hayes drove in the Marlins' final run with an eighth inning single. Hayes was 2 for 4.

Beltran, who was signed during the offseason to play right field, went 2 for 4 and is hitting .356.

"He's just so effortless in everything he does," Matheny said. "I think he's hitting his stride at just the right time."

Noteworthy

* The Cardinals purchased the contract of right-handed reliever Scott Linebrink, adding him to the 40-man roster.

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