Cardinals' Lynn right at home in victory over D-backs
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[July 31, 2017]
ST. LOUIS -- Having scored only
two runs in their previous 30 innings as they entered the bottom of
the fourth inning Sunday, the St. Louis Cardinals were badly in need
of an offensive spark.
Jose Martinez lit the fuse.
Martinez's two-run homer in the fourth tied the game and his
sacrifice fly in the sixth untied it as St. Louis rallied for a 3-2
victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Busch Stadium.
The Cardinals (52-53) managed a split of the four-game series
despite scoring only five runs.
"Against this team, it's pretty good," Martinez said. "Splitting 2-2
will give us a good day off."
Manager Mike Matheny noted after Saturday night's 7-1 loss to
Arizona that he hadn't deployed Martinez as a pinch hitter in the
fifth inning because he wanted to save him for the late innings
against one of the Diamondbacks' harder throwers.
Taijuan Walker (6-5) certainly fits that description with a fastball
that has touched 100 mph during his career, so Martinez got the call
in the series finale. When Walker left a 2-1 cutter out over the
plate with one on and one out in the fourth, Martinez drilled it
into the right field seats.
The 381-foot blast was Martinez's seventh of the year in 135
"I was thinking he was going to try and throw that cutter again,"
Martinez said. "I got it elevated and put a good swing on it, and it
Two innings later, Martinez got another crack at Walker with Jedd
Gyorko at third and Yadier Molina at first after a one-out walk and
single, respectively. With a 1-2 count, Walker tried to beat
Martinez high and away again.
While Martinez didn't find the seats this time, his fly ball carried
almost to the warning track, enabling Gyorko to score without a
"He was our offense today," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said of
Martinez. "It's a tough role to be consistent in. We never have to
worry about his energy. He has a great presence, even when he's not
in the lineup."
Martinez made a winner of Lance Lynn (9-6) in what could be his
final start with the Cardinals. Lynn, the subject of persistent
trade rumors over the last week, lasted six innings, allowing four
hits and two runs with five walks and three strikeouts. He retired
the last eight hitters he faced.
In his last five starts, Lynn has permitted four runs over 31 1/3
innings, winning three and losing none.
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Cardinals starting pitcher Lance Lynn (31) pitches during the first
inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Busch Stadium. Mandatory
Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
"I've told you guys all along that I'm not going
anywhere," he said. "So I'm not worried about it. What's there to
worry about if I don't control it?"
Four relievers picked up the last nine outs, with Trevor Rosenthal
striking out the side on 12 pitches in the ninth for his sixth save.
Walker fanned 10, one off his season high, in 5 2/3 innings,
yielding four hits and three runs while issuing three walks.
Arizona (60-45) scored its runs in the second, when Lynn labored
through 38 pitches. Chris Iannetta delivered a sacrifice fly and
pinch-hitter Daniel Descalso drew Lynn's fourth walk of the inning
with the bases loaded.
Descalso was batting for second baseman Chris Owings, who fouled off
Lynn's first pitch and broke the index finger of his right hand. It
appears Owings will miss a significant amount of time.
"It's tough," Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said of Owings'
injury. "He's one of the guys we turn to for leadership. He's helped
us get to where we are now."
NOTES: St. Louis LF Tommy Pham didn't start Sunday for the first
time since the All-Star break. Manager Mike Matheny explained that
with the off-day on Monday, it would give Pham two days out of the
lineup prior to a big series in Milwaukee that starts Tuesday night.
... Arizona CF A.J. Pollock also didn't start, but did get tossed in
the ninth inning when he took strike three as a pinch-hitter and
argued with umpire D.J. Reyburn. ... Cardinals RF Stephen Piscotty
(right groin strain) is scheduled to finish his rehab assignment at
Single-A Peoria on Sunday night. Piscotty, who was 2-for-11 in three
games with three RBIs, is expected to return from the 10-day DL on
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