JUPITER, Fla. (AP) - Lance Lynn allowed four hits in a three-run first inning and Jason Motte gave up a two-run homer in his second straight outing as the St. Louis Cardinals lost to the Minnesota Twins 7-0 Monday.
Working on his slider instead of throwing fastballs and trying to induce fly balls into the wind, Lynn gave up three runs - two earned - and five hits in 2 1-3 innings.
Aaron Hicks and Brian Dozier started with singles, and Trevor Plouffe hit a sacrifice fly. Singles by Chris Parmalee and Joe Benson brought in another run, and Lynn threw wildly on Wilkin Ramirez's grounder for an error that allowed the third run in.
``We're trying to do things to have quicker, easier innings, and the sinker is the way to go,' Lynn said. ``I was getting the ground balls I wanted. I just couldn't get them to hit it at anybody when I needed to.'
All five hits off Lynn were singles. He has given up four earned runs and nine hits in two starts.
``I think he's right on pace and where he should be,' Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. ``He's just getting built up. When guys go in with a plan, they need to stick with their plan through spring training. The foolish thing to do is back off when you're not getting the exact results you want.'
Hicks hit a two-run homer in the seventh off Motte.
Twins starter Cole De Vries, trying to earn a spot in the rotation, pitched two perfect innings with two strikeouts. He has allowed one runner in three outings.
``I know it's an open position, and I'm looking at it as it's mine to lose,' De Vries said. ``I'm going out there and trying to prove every day that I want it, and I'm the guy to take that last spot.'
Manager Ron Gardenhire said the 28-year-old right-hander is gaining confidence.
``He makes it look easy,' Gardenhire said. ``Two quick innings. Really not much trouble. He's using all of his pitches. You saw a nice breaking ball, nice slow curveball. That's kind of what we saw during the season last year.'
Four relievers followed, completing a two-hitter. The Twins turned five double plays.
Cardinals third baseman David Freese fell into the stands while attempting to catch a foul ball. Freese landed on his tailbone and was removed from the game as a precautionary measure.
``He was pretty much done for the day,' Matheny said. ``When you hit like that on your back it's best to shut it down.'
NOTES: Matheny arrived at the stadium a few hours late after having an epidural injection in the morning. Matheny has a ruptured disk. ... Matheny on SS Rafael Furcal, who has stopping throwing because of an injured elbow: ``We hurt for him because we know he's been working hard to make it happen,' Matheny said. ``It's a setback.' ... Pete Kozma, who will share shortstop duties with Ronny Cedeno, started Monday and was hitless in two at_bats. ... The Cardinals have their first open date Tuesday, and Matheny told players to stay away from the complex. ``They need to back off and spend time with their families,' he said.
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