Oscar Taveras, the Cardinals’ 20-year-old star of the future, smacked a grand slam off St. Louisan Jacob Turner to highlight a five-run first inning today as the Cardinals jumped ahead of the Miami Marlins, 6-1, in exhibition baseball.

Turner, the Westminster Christian Academy product who was a former No. 1 pick of the Detroit Tigers, walked two batters and hit Carlos Beltran in the ankle before Yadier Molina singled to tie the score at 1-1. Taveras, the Cardinals' top prospect, then lined a 1-2 pitch over the right-field wall for his first homer of the spring.

But the Cardinals weren’t done with Turner. Ty Wigginton doubled and scored on Tony Cruz’s single and then Turner was finished after a walk to Ronny Cedeno. Turner threw only 15 strikes out of 38 pitches.

Beltran came out of the game after the inning for Shane Robinson. On the first play of the next inning, Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook was hit in the left leg by a smash off the bat of Casey Kotchman and also came out of the game, to be relieved by lefthander Tyler Lyons.



MOLINA STARTS AT 1B

JUPITER, Fla. • Yadier Molina, headed after Saturday’s game for the Puerto Rican team that will compete in the World Baseball Classic next week, will start at first base today in the Cardinals’ exhibition game with the Miami Marlins.

Matheny, presuming that Molina might be asked to play there for the Puerto Rican team, said he asked Molina if he wanted to play first base a bit for the Cardinals before he left and Molina agreed.