FORT MYERS, Fla. — Just being on the mound was good enough for Jaime Garcia. Tossing scoreless ball made it even better.
Making his first appearance since injuring his shoulder in the playoffs, Garcia got through two shutout innings Tuesday as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Boston Red Sox 15-4.
In Game 2 of the NL division series against Washington, Garcia was pulled after two innings because of a strained rotator cuff and inflammation.
Garcia kept the Red Sox scoreless, working around three hits and a walk. He threw 43 pitches, 30 for strikes, and struck out two.
Garcia gave up consecutive singles to Jackie Bradley Jr. and Daniel Nava to open the game before retiring the next three batters, including Ryan Lavarnway on a strikeout.
With one out in the second, Garcia walked Drew Sutton and gave up a double to Jose Iglesias before getting out of the inning, fanning Bradley to end the inning.
Boston starter Ryan Dempster made his spring debut. Signed as a free agent in the offseason, he pitched two hitless innings and struck out two. He threw 33 pitches, 24 for strikes. The only runner against him was Oscar Tavares, who reached on an error by second baseman Jonathan Diaz.
“Things went good,” Dempster said. “Felt like body and arm felt good. Was able to attack the strike zone for the most part. Good first day.”
Red Sox Manager John Farrell enjoyed Dempster’s outing.
“He threw the ball well, established his fastball, showed a good split against righties and lefties both,” Farrell said.
Red Sox reliever Clayton Mortensen took the loss, allowing three runs on two hits and two walks in two innings. Tony Cruz hit a three-run double with two outs in the third.
“I thought he threw the ball better than the line shows,” Farrell said.
Matt Adams, who had been slowed by tendinitis in his knee, had a two-run, pinch-hit homer for the Cardinals. He later drew a bases-loaded walk.
NOTES: Red Sox RHP Clay Buchholz, who had been slowed by a right hamstring strain on the first day of official workouts for pitchers and catchers, threw a two-inning, 40-pitch simulated game Tuesday morning. He is expected to start Saturday against the Twins. … Boston 1B Mike Napoli is expected to get into his first game on Friday when the Red Sox host the Pirates. Napoli is being brought along slowly this after his team physical revealed he has avascular necrosis in both hips. … Farrell didn’t rule out the possibility of Bradley, one of Boston’s top prospects, making the team out of spring training. Bradley, who was promoted to the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs during the season last year, will get some games in right field when Shane Victorino leaves for the World Baseball Classic.