JUPITER, Fla. — Carlos Beltran and Jake Westbrook limped to the St. Louis Cardinals’ clubhouse moments apart Thursday, which made manager Mike Matheny glad it was still only February.
Beltran bruised the little toe on his right foot when he was hit by a pitch in the first inning of the Cardinals’ 8-2 victory over the Miami Marlins. Westbrook bruised his left leg below the knee on a grounder hit by Casey Kotchman in the second inning.
Beltran’s X-rays were negative, but he said the injury was painful, and he was unsure whether it would affect his plans to play for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. Westbrook didn’t undergo X-rays.
Beltran scored after being hit then left the game.
“It hurt running around the bases,” he said. “I tried to stay. I tried not to think about it. I tried to run around the bases, but it really got sore.”
Westbrook, pitching in his first game, departed after a long visit at the mound from Matheny and a team trainer.
“I told them I could have kept pitching,” Westbrook said. “They said there’s no reason and no pushing it. I didn’t really feel like arguing about it in the first game of spring training.”
Matheny told reporters he was taking no chances.
“It’s the last day that I can keep barking at you guys that we are still in February,” Matheny said.
Westbrook faced six batters and allowed four hits, including an RBI triple by Giancarlo Stanton. The Cardinals veteran said too many pitches caught the middle of the plate but he was otherwise encouraged.
Royals 5, Padres 4: PEORIA, Ariz. — James Shields pitched a hitless inning in his Kansas City debut, and the Royals remained unbeaten this spring with a 5-4 win Thursday over the San Diego Padres.
Shields was acquired in a big trade with Tampa Bay during the offseason. The new ace worked the first inning, then went to the bullpen to reach his pitch count.
The Royals improved to 6-0-1.
Padres starter Jason Marquis also made his spring debut, allowing one hit in two shutout innings.