Altuve's HR punctuates quiet day on offense

Oberholtzer settles in for five innings after giving up four-run first

Altuve's HR punctuates quiet day on offense

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The Cardinals jumped on Astros starter Brett Oberholtzer for four runs in the first inning and got a solo homer from Matt Adams in the third to beat Houston, 5-2, on Saturday afternoon at Osceola County Stadium.

It was another dominating outing by Cardinals starter Michael Wacha, who allowed four hits and two runs in seven innings, including a seventh-inning home run by Jose Altuve. He struck out eight in improving to 3-0 in the spring.

Oberholtzer, who will start the third game of the regular season for the Astros, worked five innings and allowed eight hits and five runs while throwing 87 pitches. He allowed five of six batters to reach with one out in the first inning.

Adams hit a two-run double to give St. Louis a 2-0 lead, and Stephen Piscotty and Tony Cruz added an RBI each in the inning. Adams hit a line drive homer -- his third of the spring -- down the right-field line in the third inning to push the lead to 5-0.

The Astros got on the board against Wacha when Dexter Fowler led off the fourth with the second of his two hits, went to second on a Robbie Grossman single and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Marc Krauss.

Up next: The race for the final two spots in the pitching rotation takes center stage Sunday in Jupiter, Fla., when Jerome Williams gets the start for the Astros against the Cardinals at 12:05 p.m. CT. on Gameday Audio. Williams is battling with Dallas Keuchel, Lucas Harrell and Brad Peacock for the final slots, though any of them could wind up being in the bullpen, as well.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.