Cardinals say ace Adam Wainwright to make 1st spring training start Saturday

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JUPITER, Florida — The St. Louis Cardinals say ace Adam Wainwright is to make his first spring training start on Saturday against Atlanta.

Wainwright sustained a mild abdominal strain early in spring training. He has thrown a pair of bullpen sessions since the injury, including about 40 pitches in a simulated game Monday. Wainwright is to throw another bullpen session on Thursday, and manager Mike Matheny expects him to make 50-60 pitches Saturday.

Matheny said Tuesday that if all goes well, Wainwright would start every five days for the remainder of spring training, a timetable that may allow Wainwright to pitch the major league season opener at the Chicago Cubs on April 5.

Wainwright was 20-9 with a 2.38 ERA last year, then underwent offseason elbow surgery to remove cartilage from his throwing elbow. He began the year 12-4 with a 1.83 ERA and started the All-Star Game for the NL, then went 8-5 with a 3.24 ERA.

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