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Volstad solid in start, Marlins top Cardinals

Chris Volstad turned in a solid start Sunday, pitching three scoreless innings, and the Florida Marlins beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-2. The game was called in the middle of the eighth inning because of rain.

Volstad allowed just a single in his second spring start. He struck out two batters and walked none, throwing 24 of his 35 pitches for strikes.

"I was down in the zone, throwing my sinker and letting it work," said Volstad, in line to be Florida's fifth starter after going 12-9 with a 4.58 ERA for the Marlins last year.

He went 8-1 with a 4.32 ERA over his last 13 starts after a brief demotion in July to Triple-A New Orleans.

"The way I felt today with my approach — I felt like I was back in the season last year, so that's a good feeling," he said.

Marlins prospect Matt Dominguez, trying to win the third base job, singled twice and drove in two runs. Gaby Sanchez and Logan Morrison each had hits for Florida while Dewayne Wise hit a bases-loaded double and drove in three runs.

Manager Edwin Rodriguez said Dominguez has looked ready to handle to the major leagues.

"Every at-bat he has taken so far has been a quality at-bat," Rodriguez said.

Dominguez, 21, will break camp as the Marlins third baseman if he can hit consistently all spring.

"That was one thing we did discuss last winter about his makeup, his mental toughness. I was one of the guys I was betting on him being tough mentally," Rodriguez said. "He don't get too low, he don't get too high, and he is showing that."

Gaby Sanchez and Logan Morrison each had two hits for the Marlins while Dewayne Wise hit a bases-loaded double and had 3 RBIs.

Kevin Thomas started for the Cardinals and allowed a run on three hits in two innings.

Mark Hamilton hit a solo home run in the eighth inning for the Cardinals off Brian Sanches.

Notes: Cardinals 3B Ryan Frees was scheduled to make his first spring start, but Allen Craig started instead as a precaution. Frees had two ankle operations last year. ... Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter (strained left hamstring) threw a side session Sunday morning. ... Marlins pitcher Ricky Nolasco (sore right thumb) pitched to hitters for the first time this spring in a live batting practice session. He's set to make his Grapefruit League debut March 13. ... Mike Stanton (right quadriceps strain) said he plans to take batting practice Monday with coaches pitching.