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Wacha pitches 5 strong innings for Cardinals

Thursday, March 27, 2014 | 6:17 p.m. CDT

JUPITER, Fla. — Michael Wacha looked sharp in his final spring start Thursday, giving up a run in five innings of the St. Louis Cardinals' 6-4 loss to the Miami Marlins.

Wacha gave up four hits and struck out six. He is scheduled to start the Cardinals' second game of the season on Tuesday at Cincinnati. He will start the home opener in St. Louis on April 7.

Wacha did struggle in the fifth. Derek Dietrich led off with a walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch, moved to third on Marcell Ozuna's single and scored on Brian Bogusevic's sacrifice fly to right.

"It got a little away from me in that last inning, but overall I was pretty happy with it," Wacha said.

The Marlins won all six games against the Cardinals this spring. After losing 100 games last season, the Marlins finished 2014 Grapefruit League play at 18-11-2.

The Cardinals were 11-13-2.

The Cardinals averaged 6,733 fans for their 14 home games at Roger Dean Stadium, an increase of more than 500 fans per game from last season. It's the largest average attendance in the Grapefruit League for St. Louis since 2010.

Shelby Miller will remain in Jupiter when the Cardinals head north on Friday. Miller will pitch in a minor league game on Saturday before rejoining the club. He is scheduled to start the Cardinals' fourth game of the season at Pittsburgh

Reliever Jason Motte will face minor league hitters on Saturday. He is working his way back from elbow-ligament replacement surgery and could be ready for major league action by the end of April. ... Jaime Garcia is expected to throw another bullpen in the next couple days. No time frame has been set for his return.


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