Carlos Martinez continued to impress as a starting pitcher and the St. Louis bullpen shut down the Phillies Sunday as the Redbirds came from behind to win 5-3.
Back to back victories over what had been a very hot Phillies team enabled the Cards to get a split in the series and win seven of 10 on the home stand.
The Cards travel to Colorado for the start of a crucial 10-game road trip Monday night that includes three in Colorado, four in Los Angeles and three more in San Francisco before they return home.
The day did not start well for the home team as Martinez got off to a rough start. In the second inning, Ryan Howard singled, John Mayberry was hit by a pitch and
Dominic Brown walked on four pitches. Cody Asche doubled home all three but could advance no further as Martinez got a groundout and two strikeouts to end the Philadelphia scoring for the day.
Martinez (1-3) and the rest of the Cards’ staff held Ben Revere, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins hitless on the day and scattered five hits in helping St. Louis to its 41st victory. Rollins’ 15-game hitting streak was snapped in the loss.
The Birds erupted for four runs in the bottom of the fourth when Matt Adams doubled and Allen Craig walked after one out. Yadier Molina’s soft single to right loaded the bases and singles by John Jay and Jhonny Peralta tied the game. A seldom-seen safety squeeze by Mark Ellis gave the Cards the lead for good.
Ellis would give the Cards an insurance run in the eighth with a line single, scoring Molina and Trevor Rosenthal would close it out for his 22nd save.
The Cards banged out 12 hits, including four in the seventh inning, but still failed to score. Matt Carpenter led off with a hit but was erased on a stolen base attempt. Three more singles would follow but no runs as Jay struck out to end the inning.
From there it was all the bullpen as Nick Greenwood, Sam Freeman, Pat Neshek and Rosenthal all combined to hold the Phils to two hits over the last four innings.
Martinez’ emergence as a bona fide starter comes just in time as the Cardinals announced that both Michael Wacha and Jaime Garcia would be placed on the disabled list with shoulder soreness. Garcia has battled a bad shoulder for much of his career but Wacha’s soreness is particularly troubling given his lack of any history of shoulder issues.
Martinez can figures to fill in for Wacha and as soon as Joe Kelly completes his rehab starts, it would appear he would be the most likely candidate to fill the fifth starter spot.