Busy day for Pujols at the plate

Busy day for Pujols at the plate

at Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Wednesday, March 19

Cardinals at the plate: First baseman Albert Pujols cracked a two-run home run in the first inning, got hit by a pitch in the second and drove a one-run single in the third. Third baseman Troy Glaus and center fielder Rick Ankiel both reached base twice in the first two innings, and Glaus also came through with a run-scoring double in the third.

Orioles at the plate: Third baseman Melvin Mora continued his streaky ways by doubling in the first inning and scoring on an infield single by first baseman Kevin Millar. Millar returned to homer in the fourth inning. Second baseman Brian Roberts and catcher Ramon Hernandez added hits of their own.

Cardinals on the mound: Brad Thompson gave up a run in the first inning but settled down and finished strong. The right-hander worked into the fifth inning, allowing five hits and two earned runs. Southpaw reliever Ron Villone got two outs for the Cardinals and veteran closer Jason Isringhausen pitched a scoreless sixth inning.

Orioles on the mound: Adam Loewen struggled to get through his brief outing, walking four batters and hitting two others. The southpaw threw first-pitch balls to nine of the 15 batters he faced and left with two outs in the second inning. Jim Johnson didn't fare much better, as the right-hander allowed three earned runs in the third inning alone.

Grapefruit League records: Cardinals 10-10-1; Orioles 8-10-2.

Up next for the Cardinals: After two very rough starts, Braden Looper will try to right himself at 12:05 p.m. ET on Thursday at Roger Dean Stadium against the Marlins. Looper had six days' rest between starts, allowing him an extra bullpen session to try to get going in the right direction. He's allowed 12 runs in 6 1/3 innings over his past two starts.

Up next for the Orioles: The O's will play their first and only night game of the Grapefruit League season on Thursday against the Mets, which kicks off at 7:10 in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Jon Leicester will be making his second start for the Orioles, and the Mets will counter with staff ace Johan Santana. Baltimore's Steve Trachsel will pitch a simulated game in Fort Lauderdale.

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.