LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- A year after starting the spring 0-for-10, Kolten Wong stepped to the plate in the first inning on Wednesday one hitless at-bat away from opening Grapefruit League play in the same manner this month.
But with a single off the glove of Atlanta shortstop Jace Peterson, Wong added some crooked numbers into his batting average. Wong would have tallied a second hit in the Cardinals' 6-2 win had Eric Young Jr. not made a diving catch on a shallow fly ball to center.
Though the stat sheet would suggest that this was a bit of spring déjà vu for Wong, he hasn't viewed it as that. His position on the club is more secure this year, and Wong has tried not to allow himself to become consumed by shortcomings. Last spring, the slow start toyed with Wong's confidence.
"Everything looks strong and healthy," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "He's taken some good swings. When we were watching the live hitting before these games started, he was hitting the ball as well as anybody. You're not getting consistent at-bats, which is hard. I don't have any concern whatsoever."
Here are other news and notes from the day:
• Matheny said that Zach Petrick will most likely start for the Cardinals on Friday in place of scheduled starter Lance Lynn, who continues to recover from a left hip flexor strain.
• Right-hander John Lackey threw a bullpen session in Jupiter, Fla., on Tuesday and is expected to make his first Grapefruit League start either Saturday or Monday.
• Midway through the game, home-plate umpire Joe West called Matheny and Fredi Gonzalez out to let them know which of their respective players were violating Major League Baseball's new pace of play rules. Those rules will not be enforced until May, but Matheny said he appreciated the heads-up. He plans to address concerns with his team's offenders, but otherwise not make a big deal of it as a group.
"The last thing I want them worried about is some clock," Matheny said. "This might be their only chance to come out here and pitch. And it might be their first and last time that they get to pitch in this kind of environment."
• After a hitless day, Peter Bourjos is 0-for-12 to start Grapefruit League play. Matheny intended to get Bourjos three at-bats on Wednesday, but Bourjos requested an additional one. As a result, he played nearly the entire game.
"He just needs to get into a rhythm," Matheny said. "Today was an effective day for that -- to get him multiple at-bats and working it."
• Magneuris Sierra, the Cardinals' Minor League Player of the Year in 2014, was listed as a member of the Cardinals' travel roster on Wednesday, but got word too late to make the bus departure time. He'll likely dress for a Grapefruit League game later this spring.