Originally created 03/15/04

Cardinals blank Braves

JUPITER, Fla. -- Facing his former team, J.D. Drew went without an RBI for the first time in spring training and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Atlanta Braves 2-0 Sunday.

Drew entered 8-for-11 with five home runs and a major league-leading 14 RBIs for Atlanta. He was 0-for-1 with a strikeout and a walk against Chris Carpenter, who worked four scoreless innings in his second spring start.

"It's kind of neat seeing everybody," said Drew, who paid a visit to the Cardinals' clubhouse. "It was a little different facing them. It's a lot of fun."

Drew, who played for the Cardinals from 1998-03 before he was traded in the offseason, said he's got nothing but fond memories of his time in St. Louis despite all the criticism for often being injured.

"You had a few people that were going to heckle, but for the most part they endured everything I endured," Drew said. "I fought injuries and wanted to play well and I thought they sympathized in a lot of senses.

"I wish I could have given them more, but it's always going to be fun to go back there."

Drew, who left after two at-bats because he's scheduled to play the next two games, made perhaps the defensive play of the game with a diving catch of Edgar Renteria's slicing drive to right field in the second.

Carpenter allowed two hits with two strikeouts and a walk, continuing his comeback from two shoulder operations. He missed all of last season and most of 2002.

"Obviously, the results were good," Carpenter said. "I wasn't as anxious after getting the first one out of the way."

Carpenter worked two innings in his spring debut, allowing one run in the first against the Orioles on March 9 and then retiring his last four batters. He's the Cardinals' No. 3 starter.

Dan Haren, Kiko Calero, Adam Wainwright and Julian Tavarez also pitched in a combined three-hitter.

John Thomson, the No. 3 starter for the Braves, also worked four innings and gave up one run on five hits. Thomson's outing was much better than his last, when he gave up four runs and six hits in three innings against the Yankees.

He also picked Kerry Robinson off second base in the first.

Renteria had an RBI single, and the Cardinals' second run scored on a wild pitch by Bubba Nelson in the eighth.

Braves shortstop Rafael Furcal did not play due to food poisoning, but he could be back for the second of two straight games against the Cardinals.


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