-- JUPITER, Fla. (AP) -- Matt Morris pitched seven strong innings to give the St. Louis Cardinals their eighth one-run win of the spring, 2-1 over the Montreal Expos on Wednesday. Morris, slated to start on opening day, ran his string of scoreless innings to 15 1-3 before Matt Cepicky hit a home run to dead center in the sixth. In all, Morris scattered seven hits and had two strikeouts. "My changeup wasn't as good today as it was the last time out but I had a nice curve and my sinker was working," he said. "I have to work in the changeup in the right spots and not abuse it." Morris said he is ready for opening day in St. Louis on Monday, where President George W. Bush is scheduled to throw out the first pitch. "I would like to pitch against the president," Morris said with a smile. John Patterson, recently acquired from Arizona, pitched five good innings for the Expos, giving up two runs on three hits. Patterson hopes to be the Expos' fifth starter. "I felt good," Patterson. "I knew that spot (in the rotation) was open and just getting back on the mound again, in a real game felt good. It has been 10 or 11 days since I came over from Arizona. I really wasn't thinking out there I was just trying to throw my pitches."
Montreal first baseman Nick Johnson, acquired from the New York Yankees in a trade for pitcher Javier Vazquez in December, had an MRI Wednesday morning for a sprain in his back. Johnson hit .284 with 14 home runs for the Yankees and has been bothered with a bad back during spring training. He is listed as day to day.<