Jeff Kobernus let St. Louis Cardinals' outfielder Shane Robinson on, dropping the Cards' leadoff man's fly to center in the first at bat of this afternoon's Grapefruit League game in Jupiter, Florida's Roger Dean Stadium.
Kobernus's error put Robinson in scoring position at second base and the Cardinals' outfielder stole third base on Nationals' starter Gio Gonzalez and Washington's new backup catcher Jose Lobaton before scoring the game's first run on an RBI groundout by Cards' catcher Yadier Molina. 1-0 St. Louis after a 22-pitch first by Gonzalez, who gets help from Kobernus on a running catch on the track in center field, and Caleb Ramsey, on a slick, sliding, inning-ending catch in short right.
Gio Gonzalez got two outs with five pitches in the second, inducing grounders off the bats of Matt Adams and Kolten Wong, but Pete "[expletive deleted]" Kozma worked the count full and made Gonzalez throw eight pitches in his two-out at bat before walking in front of Cards' 23-year-old, Cuban-born shortstop prospect Aledmys Diaz, who lined a single to left on a 1-2 fastball inside. Adam Wainwright's groundout to Jamey Carroll at second ended a 17-pitch second that had Gonzalez up to 39 pitches overall.
Yadier Molina walked with one down in the Cardinals' third, after right-hander Adam Wainwright completed his third scoreless frame against the Nationals in the top of the inning. Matt Holliday yanked a low 1-1 fastball inside to left field and off the wall for a one-out double on Gonzalez's 48th pitch. Allen Craig, who has a .394/.451/.636 line with runners in scoring position in 407 plate appearances so far in his major league career, hit an RBI sac fly to center that made it 2-0 Cards. Gonzalez was up to 58 pitches after a 19-pitch third.
Kolten Wong lined a 1-2 fastball from Gio Gonzalez to left field for a leadoff opposite field single in the bottom of the fourth, but he was doubled up trying to take third in the next at bat. Pete Kozma popped one up to right that drifted into the right field bullpen in Roger Dean, but Caleb Ramsey made his way cautiously into the corner and made a catch right in front of the stands before firing a throw all the way to third to double up Kozma with a 9-5 outfield assist.
Caleb Ramsey shows off his arm by throwing out Kolten Wong trying to take 3rd on a F9. What a throw... #Nats
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) March 21, 2014
Aledmys Diaz was 2 for 2 in his first spring training game when he lined to center for a two-out single, but Adam Wainwright's groundout ended a 16-pitch fourth that had Gio Gonzalez up to 74 pitches.
Adam Wainwright threw five scoreless on 54 pitches, giving up just two hits and striking out five.
Gio Gonzalez got two quick outs on three pitches in the bottom of the fifth on a pop to second and a fly to the track in right field, but the Nats' lefty missed with a 2-2 fastball up high to Matt Holliday, and spiked a full-count offering that ended his outing nine pitches into the fifth with him at 83 pitches overall.
Nationals' reliever Craig Stammen came on in relief and got a fly to center from Allen Craig to end the fifth inning.
Gio Gonzalez's line: 4.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 0 Ks, 83 pitches, 6/7 GO/FO.
Adam Wainwright's seven-pitch, 1-2-3 sixth left him at 61 pitches overall after six scoreless frames. Craig Stammen retired the Cards in order in the bottom of the inning. The Cardinals' 6'7'' right-handed starter came back out for the seventh and retired the Nationals in an 13-pitch inning that left him at 74 total on the day, with 7 Ks and 10 groundouts from the 23 batters he'd faced.
Tyler Clippard needed 11 pitches to retire the Cardinals in order in a quick bottom of the seventh inning.
Adam Wainwright gave up a leadoff single to center by Jamey Carroll, but got a double play grounder out of Jose Lozada for the first two outs of the eighth inning and got a groundout from Chris Snyder to end his eighth scoreless inning of work against the Nationals.
Blake Treinen got the first two outs of the Cardinals' eighth with just seven pitches before he handed the ball over to Xavier Cedeno. The left-handed reliever got the final out of the inning.
Trevor Rosenthal took the mound for the Cards in the top of the ninth and retired the Nationals in order.
2-0 Cardinals win.