This time he took the ball on normal rest. This time Shaun Marcum looked just as good as he did on extended rest.

Marcum tossed 3 2/3 innings of scoreless ball during Sunday afternoon’s 3-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium. He allowed just one hit and struck out two.

Marcum has been vocal about limiting his innings this spring, but did acknowledge it was nice returning to his every-five-days program.

"Being back on that routine helps, definitely," Marcum said.

Manager Terry Collins suggested some of the team’s young arms can take a page out of Marcum’s repertoire.

"They can say, ‘I throw 10 miles harder than he does and he gets easy outs,’ " Collins said. "‘If I can do that, maybe I can get easy outs.’"

Valdespin pushing

Jordany Valdespin continued his quest to elbow his way on to the opening day roster. Valdespin’s eighth-inning single through a drawn-in infield snapped a scoreless tie Sunday. He is hitting .360 this spring.