Top pitching prospect Shelby Miller tossed two scoreless frames and right fielder Allen Craig drove in a pair of runs as the Cardinals pounded the host Astros, 10-2, on Friday afternoon.
It was the first Grapefruit League action of the spring for the 20-year-old Miller, who was recently named the Minor Leagues' No. 20 prospect by MLB.com. Despite having never pitched above Class A, Miller, who will likely start the season with Class A Advanced Palm Beach, was sharp against the Astros.
The right-hander entered in the sixth inning with the Cardinals enjoying a 9-2 lead and allowed one hit while fanning one in two innings. Thanks to a double play, he faced the minimum six batters.
Matt Carpenter's two-run triple in the second gave the Cardinals a lead they would not relinquish. Center fielder Colby Rasmus went 3-for-3 with a double, a stolen base and an RBI and scored runs on base hits by Craig in the third and fourth innings. The Cardinals collected 16 hits and were 8-for-16 with runners in scoring position.
St. Louis starter Kyle Lohse (1-0), also making his first appearance of the spring, allowed one run on three hits over three innings. He struck out one and did not walk a batter.
For the Astros, designated hitter Jason Michaels went 2-for-2 with a walk and Matt Downs clubbed a solo homer.
Australian-born southpaw Ryan Rowland-Smith (0-1) took the loss for Houston after yielding three runs on four hits and a walk in the first two innings. He fanned one.
The Cardinals improved to 4-2 in Grapefruit League play while the Astros, who committed three errors and allowed four unearned runs, fell to 2-4.