- Associated Press - Saturday, March 12, 2016

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) - Mike Fiers worked three perfect innings for a Houston Astros split squad in a 4-3 loss to a St. Louis Cardinals split squad on Saturday.

“Every time out is a chance for me to prove myself to this team and to this coaching staff and show them that I can be one of the five starters,” Fiers said. “Every good time out just helps my cause. I’m just focusing on myself.”

Non-roster invitee Danny Worth homered and had an RBI double off Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright in his first two trips to the plate. They were his first two RBIs of the spring.

“When you throw the ball in the middle of the plate, you’re going to get punished for it,” Wainwright said. “He made a couple good swings on me today. Good little player.”

They accounted for both runs off Wainwright, who worked four innings and gave up four hits.

Fiers struck out four and has thrown five scoreless innings in two outings. Astros starters have a 1.73 ERA this spring.

Tommy Pham lined a homer off A.J. Reed in the ninth to tie it and St. Louis scored the winning run on a throwing error with the bases loaded, with pinch hitter Harrison Bader getting the RBI.

“I didn’t see it, I just knew off the bat it was gone,” Pham said. “It’s good to square the ball up in spring training.”


Astros: Fiers has worked five scoreless innings this spring. He has been tough on the Cardinals, going 3-2 with a 1.45 ERA for his career. He was 7-10 with a 3.69 ERA last year with Milwaukee and Houston.

“I’ve faced them a bunch of times, so I know they can hurt you pretty quick,” Fiers said. “But for me I was just trying to throw a bunch of strikes, get in situations and get out of them, really.”

Cardinals: Wainwright threw 52 pitches, doubling the innings from his first spring start. He was happy with his overall outing, including four straight defensive plays in the first and second.

“I haven’t thought about my leg at all,” said Wainwright, sidelined most of last season with a torn left Achilles. “I got done running sprints and my legs felt great, so I can’t complain at all.”


Astros: An MRI on RHP Lance McCullers’ shoulder showed no damage and he’ll get a few days of rest.

Cardinals: Stephen Piscotty had X-rays, which were negative, and treatment in Jupiter after getting hit above the left elbow in a game against the Mets in Port St. Lucie.

He didn’t believe New York reliever Stolmy Pimentel hit him on purpose. Pimentel also hit Johnathan Rodriguez in the sixth and gave up four runs in a third of an inning.

“I don’t think so, I think he had given up some big hits and was just erratic,” Piscotty said. “I’m pretty relieved how it feels after the way it felt when I got hit.”

C Yadier Molina is getting two days off after playing five innings on Friday, his second outing of the spring.


The Astros have hit 17 homers, among the best in the majors.


Astros: Doug Fister faces Atlanta on Sunday in Kissimmee in his third spring appearance. Thus far, he’s allowed a run in five innings.

Cardinals: Michael Wacha makes his second spring start against the Nationals in Viera. Wacha threw 28 pitches his first start, allowing a run in two innings.

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