JUPITER, Fla. (AP)- Wei-Yin Chen threw two shutout innings in his Miami Marlins debut against St. Louis, thanks to an assist from Giancarlo Stanton.
Chen allowed three hits and got some help when right fielder Stanton easily threw out Brayan Pena at the plate to end the second, but the Marlins ended up losing 3-2.
“When I gave up that hit, I thought it was going to be an automatic run,” Chen said. “When I saw Giancarlo throw him out at home, I was very impressed with his arm.”
The Marlins were so impressed with Chen’s arm that they signed him to an $80 million, five-year contract. Making his first appearance for his new team, Chen threw 28 pitches, 19 for strikes.
“I wanted to work on my fastball today,” the left-hander from Taiwan said through a translator. “I felt like I spotted it well and they didn’t hit it too hard, so it was good.”
The Cardinals’ Matt Holliday was scheduled to make his spring training debut but was scratched because of tightness in his back. The 36-year-old Holliday, a left fielder his entire career, was in the lineup at first base.
Holliday spent the winter working out at first and has played there some in camp.
“He’s trying to figure out if there is a way for him to help us, knowing we have some young outfielders shining, where at times we can put them in the outfield and keep him in,” manager Mike Matheny said. “And also, is there less wear and tear for him to be at first?”
Holliday was scratched as a precaution, and his status is day to day.
“During BP I was watching him and I could see he was holding back a little bit,” Matheny said. “We just decided it was best to hold off a little bit. Intermittent tightness happens about every season he has ever had.”
Marlins: Chen went 46-32 over the past four seasons with the Baltimore Orioles.
“I hadn’t pitched in a game in a long time,” Chen said. “Coming over to a new team, there were definitely some nerves out there.”
Because his translator was unavailable, the Taiwan native spoke to reporters in Japanese using teammate Ichiro Suzuki’s translator.
Cardinals: Starter Marco Gonzales allowed four hits and two runs, one earned, in 2 2-3 innings.
The Cardinals’ Seung Hwan Oh came on with the bases loaded in the third. He escaped that jam and pitched 1 1-3 perfect innings.
The Korean right-hander signed a one-year contract with St. Louis after a dominating career in Japan.
Marlins RHP Jarred Cosart said he felt fine one day after he bruised his right knee in a collision with a teammate on a play at third base. There was no significant swelling, but Cosart won’t pitch before Wednesday at the earliest, manager Don Mattingly said.
“We’ll be cautious and make sure he’s 100 percent before we send him back out there,” Mattingly said.
The T-shirts keep coming from Suzuki, to the amusement of the Japanese media.
Suzuki has a large collection of T-shirts and wears a different one to the ballpark each day. Each has a different simple saying, which has made for daily news in his native Japan since last season.
Nearly a dozen Japanese reporters and cameramen who cover Suzuki were waiting Saturday, as usual, to record his arrival. They wore matching T-shirts that read “We can be persistent too” in Japanese.
Marlins: RHP Dylan Axelrod will start Sunday at the Detroit Tigers.
Cardinals: RHP Deck McGuire will start Sunday against Washington. RHP Adam Wainwright is scheduled to make his spring training debut Monday against the New York Mets.
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