Carlos Martinez made his second start of the 2015 season Saturday, once again against the Cincinnati Reds, and once again the young righty gave the Cardinals a strong start. The Cardinals cruised to their fourth straight win and a one game lead atop the NL Central.
Martinez went six solid innings, gave up only one run on three hits, and struck out four while walking two. The one run was scored on a Zach Cozart home run in the top of the fifth, but Martinez was otherwise in control throughout the game. It is the second quality start in as many tries for Martinez, and the pitcher lowered his ERA to nice 2.08.
Martinez is rewarding management for shipping off Joe Kelly and Shelby Miller in faith of him, as he has done well in both his starts this season. With Jaime Garcia reportedly still six weeks away, Martinez has the chance to further entrench himself as the guy for the back end of the St. Louis rotation.
On the other side of the diamond, the Reds have lost four straight and six of seven as Homer Bailey got roughed up for five runs on nine hits over 5 2/3 innings in his return from the disabled list. Speaking of those runs, the Cardinals offense came out to support Martinez on Saturday. Matt Adams and Yadier Molina had an RBI apiece, Matt Carpenter had two, and Jason Heyward got his bat going with a solo shot in the third. Adams and Molina continue to hit after both started the year fairly slow.
Of Note: Trevor Rosenthal nailed down his fourth save with two men on in the ninth.
Matt Holliday left Saturday’s game in the second inning with back tightness. The Cardinals have said his removal was solely precautionary.
Players of the game: Carlos Martinez: 6 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 4 Ks, 2 walks
Jason Heyward: 1-4, HR
Matt Carpenter: 2-5, 2 RBI