After watching his elongated righthander work five more scoreless innings, running his total this spring to 14 innings without allowing an earned run, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny expressed what surely almost everybody must be thinking about Adam Wainwright.

The 20-game winner in 2010, who missed all of last season after ligament transplant surgery for his right elbow, is "way further along than I ever would have thought," said Matheny.

Wainwright held the Miami Marlins to three hits as the Cardinals scored their sixth straight exhibition win, 2-1, Friday. He said he could have gone longer than 65 pitches, of which 44 were strikes.

"Shoot," he said. "My hat's not even wet."

But Matheny said, "I think we'd be wrong not to still monitor. We haven't changed the general philosophy. Today he went 65 pitches. The other guys have been going 70, 75. We could have thrown him out there one more inning. But it's just not worth it right now."

Wainwright had to pitch out of two jams. Miami had two runners on in both the second and third and Wainwright was especially strong in the third, getting Hanley Ramirez to hit into an inning-ending double play after the Marlins put two on with nobody out.

"There were some really quality pitches made today that allowed me to get out of that inning," said Wainwright.

This was his fourth start of the spring, and Wainwright said this was the best for "total package."