The St. Louis Cardinals' penultimate spring game Sunday proved tough for pitchers and hitters alike, ending with a 24-1 road loss to the Houston Astros.
Jack Flaherty fell behind quickly in his fifth and final spring outing. The Astros jumped to an 8-1 lead after two innings. Flaherty finished his day allowing six earned runs and four hits over 3.2 innings. He struck out one and walked three batters on 69 pitches.
The Astros piled on after Flaherty's exit, scoring five runs in the fifth inning, two in the seventh and nine in the eighth. The Cardinals deployed eight pitchers, including several prospects. Only Zack Thompson made it through an inning's worth of work without allowing a run.
Infielder Kramer Robertson drove in the Cardinals' lone run in the second inning, a two-out single that cut the deficit to 3-1 at the time. Filling the lineup primarily with prospects, St. Louis went just 2 for 13 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12 runners on base.
The Cardinals, now 16-7 in Grapefruit League action, conclude their spring slate Monday with a road matchup against the Baltimore Orioles. First pitch is set for 12:05 p.m. CT.