Beltran notches first homer in Cards' win
Lynn bolsters rotation hopes with strong five-inning outing
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Carlos Beltran highlighted a two-hit performance with a sixth-inning home run that provided the Cardinals some cushion as they claimed a 4-3 win over the Braves at Champion Stadium on Monday afternoon.
Beltran's first home run of the exhibition season extended the frustrations of highly-regarded prospect Julio Teheran, who has surrendered nine home runs in the 13 innings he has worked. The 21-year-old right-hander also allowed a Yadier Molina RBI double before escaping the sixth inning without further damage.
Cardinals starter Lance Lynn cruised through the first four innings in perfect fashion, and he ended up allowing just one run and two hits in his first five-inning stint. Lynn will begin the year in the starting rotation if Chris Carpenter needs more time to strengthen his previously ailing neck.
Lynn proved perfect until Dan Uggla and Freddie Freeman began the fifth inning with consecutive singles. After Eric Hinske drew a walk to load the bases, Joey Terdoslavich put the Braves on the board with a sacrifice fly. Lynn escaped further damage when a botched hit-and-run attempt resulted in Freeman being thrown out at third base after Jose Constanza half-heartedly swung through strike three.
Atlanta starter Randall Delgado strengthened his bid to beat Teheran in the battle for the final rotation spot. Matt Carpenter's two-run fourth-inning homer stood as the only damage he incurred while allowing three hits and three walks over five innings, while striking out five.
Braves catcher Brian McCann also notched his first home run with a seventh-inning shot off Mitchell Boggs.
Up next: Several players, as well as manager Mike Matheny and the coaching staff, will stay overnight in central Florida on Monday since Tuesday's road game against the Astros is in nearby Kissimmee. First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 p.m. CT, and fans can action the action live on MLB.TV. Kyle Lohse will make his fourth start of the spring and will be followed on the mound by Kyle McClellan, Eduardo Sanchez and J.C. Romero. Lance Berkman is expected to bus up from Jupiter, Fla., to face his former club.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.