JUPITER, Fla. (AP) -Newly acquired Nate Robertson allowed one earned run on two hits in seven innings and even drove in a run in the Florida Marlins' 3-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday.
``I got here yesterday with a full car, my family is back in Detroit and I'm pitching seven innings in the final game of the Grapefruit League,' Robertson said. ``But I'm excited to be here. If there was a team to go to, it's definitely the team that drafted me and got me going into my professional career.'
Robertson, acquired in a trade with the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday, surrendered a run in the when Ryan Ludwick led off with a double to left, stole third, and scored on David Freese's groundout to short.
``What I saw today I liked,' Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ``He threw a lot of strikes. I think he went seven innings and didn't get to 90 pitches.'
Brian Barden went 2-for-2, both doubles, for Florida and found out he earned a spot on the opening day roster as a utility infielder.
Prior to the game, St. Louis traded infielder Julio Lugo to Baltimore, making room for Allen Craig, Joe Mather and Nick Stavinoha on the major league club.
The three had been locked in a battle for the final two spots.
``You probably couldn't wipe the smile off my face at that point,' Mather said about being told he made the team. ``This was the goal, now we go from here.'
Infielder Mike Lamb also told reporters that the Marlins informed him he'll be with the club on opening day.
Florida has exhibitions at Class AAA Jacksonville on Friday and at Class AA Greensboro on Saturday before opening the regular season on Monday at New York.
St. Louis will play a pair of exhibition games at Minnesota on Friday and Saturday before Monday's season-opener at Cincinnati.
``I think we played enough and we have another couple of great games against the Twins - that's terrific preparation,' St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said.
The Associated Press News Service
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