Cardinals' Martinez quiets Brewers' bats

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[May 03, 2017]  ST. LOUIS -- Carlos Martinez and Kolten Wong both believed they had something to prove on Tuesday night -- and then went out and did it, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 2-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Martinez came into the game riding a string of four consecutive poor starts in which he had a 6.33 ERA and was still looking for his first victory of the season.

Wong was coming off only one bad game, but it was his baserunning mistake and fielding error which combined to play a major role in the Cardinals' 7-5, 10-inning loss to the Brewers on Monday night.

All Martinez did was limit the Brewers to four hits over 7 1/3 innings, leading to one unearned run. Wong came through with some outstanding defensive plays and went 2-for-3 at the plate, driving in one of the two St. Louis runs.

"Everything worked out the way I wanted," said Martinez through an interpreter. "I've been working really hard and I've always had faith in myself and my team and I knew it was going to come eventually."

Wong thought he was going to leave the clubhouse after the game before the media arrived and had left a prepared note on the chair in front of his locker explaining that he had to leave and that "I did my job tonight."

Reporters wanted more details from him, however.

"Obviously there are going to be nights like (Monday) night that you want to forget and that's what I did," he said. "I accepted the fact I had a bad night, forgot about it and came in tonight and did my job."

Manager Mike Matheny had reassured Wong before he left Busch Stadium on Monday night that he would be playing on Tuesday night, and was definitely pleased with how Wong responded to the opportunity.

"I think today was a huge day in the career of Kolten Wong and his growth," Matheny said. "He owned up yesterday and sat there and faced the music, but then went out and did what he needed to do to get back to being the player he has been for a while."

It was a different response then Wong might have delivered when faced with a similar situation in the past, something even he acknowledged.

"I'm growing as a player, being able to let adversity go," he said. "Before I wasn't that good at it. Now I'm just going out and playing the game."

Matheny also was happy for Martinez, who he said had "complete game, shutout stuff."

Martinez retired the first 12 batters he faced before Travis Shaw singled on an 0-2 pitch leading off the fifth, Milwaukee's only hit until Domingo Santana got an infield single with two outs in the seventh. He later scored following a fielding error by Matt Carpenter on a single by Jett Bandy.

Martinez (1-3) has never thrown a complete game or a shutout in his major-league career.

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Cardinals starting pitcher Carlos Martinez (18) salutes the fans after being removed from the game during the eighth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

"Carlos was everything we needed," Matheny said. "I think what he did today was he found out what he had before he left the bullpen. He saw that he had really good movement and he had the velocity to go with the movement. I think he built his game around that."

Martinez left one out into the eighth, and Brett Cecil pitched around a one out single to finish the inning before Trevor Rosenthal pitched the ninth to earn his third save.

The Cardinals had staked Martinez to a 2-0 lead in the sixth. Carpenter led off with a single and went to third on a double by Stephen Piscotty which knocked starter Wily Peralta out of the game. Yadier Molina greeted reliever Jacob Barnes with a sacrifice fly, and following a walk, Wong delivered his RBI single.

Peralta (4-2) allowed only three hits until the sixth inning.

"I thought Wily started the game as good as we've seen from him," said Brewers manager Craig Counsell. "It was good velocity, his slider was good, he was pitching very, very well."

The trouble in the sixth cost Peralta again against the Cardinals, however. He fell to 0-9 in his last 11 starts against St. Louis, with his last win coming in 2014.

"You cannot think about your start before," Peralta said. "It's a new game and anything can happen that day. You just have to get your plan and execute. That's all."

NOTES: The Cardinals placed LHP Tyler Lyons on the 10-day disabled list on Tuesday and recalled RHP Sam Tuivailala from Triple-A Memphis. Lyons had pitched in just two games, a total of three innings, since coming off the DL as he recovered from off-season knee surgery. He was diagnosed with a strained intercostal muscle. ... Tuivailala began the year with the Cardinals before he was optioned to Memphis. ... Brewers OF Ryan Braun is closer to returning to the lineup, said manager Craig Counsell, but likely will miss another game or two. He has tightness in his right trapezius muscle but he was able to pinch hit in the ninth inning. ... The Cardinals used the same eight position players, in the same spot in the batting order, for the fourth consecutive game.

[ 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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