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JUPITER (AP) — Adam Wainwright might be spending a little more time in autograph sessions after a picture presented by a fan to sign helped the St. Louis pitcher diagnose a flaw in his mechanics.
Wainwright struck out six in 4 2-3 innings and the Cardinals blanked a Miami Marlins split squad 2-0 Saturday.
The photograph that benefited Wainwright was taken a couple years ago. It showed his stride to the plate was a little longer.
Wainwright asked the team’s video technician to record his next bullpen session. The right-hander immediately noticed the difference when he returned to the longer stride.
“It is pretty eye-opening when you see something like that and go, ‘Man, that’s not where I feel like I am at,’” Wainwright said.
After allowing eight hits and four earned runs over three innings during his previous spring outing, Wainwright looked to be in full command on Saturday.
Wainwright gave up three hits and walked one. He permitted a pair of singles to start the game, then retired the next eight batters.
Only three balls left the infield against Wainwright.
Wainwright was tested in the fourth when Donovan Solano led off with a double and advanced to third on a groundout. Wainwright responded by striking out Austin Kearns and getting Casey Kotchman on a groundout.
“Today was a day I wanted to go out and test where my stuff was at. Kind of mix and match all my pitches in there, work in and out occasionally like I would pitch during the regular season, just to see what the hitters’ reactions were,” Wainwright said. “I’m somewhat pleased where my stuff is at now. I just have to hone it in a little more.”
Wainwright’s counterpart, Marlins starter Jacob Turner, also rebounded from a tough prior outing, allowing two hits and a walk in three scoreless innings.
“Obviously, I felt a lot better,” said Turner, tagged for six earned runs while recording only one out in his other Grapefruit League start. “I think it showed in the command of the pitches and how sharp they were. It was definitely a step in the right direction.”
St. Louis scored off Turner’s replacement, Chris Hatcher. Matt Adams opened the fourth with an infield hit, Daniel Descalso singled and Pete Kozma had a two-run double.
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