Cards 5th Starter Martinez Ends Spring Strong

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez threw six shutout innings at the New York Mets Wednesday.

Carlos Martinez pitched six scoreless innings and Jhonny Peralta drove in two runs as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the New York Mets 5-2 Wednesday.

Martinez, the Cardinals' fifth starter, scattered three hits, struck out five and walked one.

''I worked better today and I felt better than any other start,'' Martinez said through a translator. ''My changeup was my best pitch, I feel, and my slider was my best pitch after my changeup.''

Mets opening-day starter Bartolo Colon allowed three runs and six hits in five innings, struck out two and walked one.

Peralta had an RBI double in the first inning and added a RBI single off Colon in the sixth. Kolten Wong and Matt Adams each had two hits and an RBI for the Cardinals.

''I've felt pretty good this spring,'' Peralta said. ''I've been working really hard and I feel I'm ready to go. Bartolo's a good pitcher, but the whole of spring training I've been feeling good at the plate. I'm ready.''

Matt Reynolds had three RBIs for the Mets, including a two-run double in the eighth.

STARTING TIME

Mets: Colon allowed one run through the first five innings, but allowed three consecutive singles starting the sixth and was pulled after the third, a run-scoring hit by Peralta. Colon threw 85 pitches.

Cardinals: Manager Mike Matheny would like to see Martinez find a better emotional balance on the mound.

''You watch the best in our game right now, they look the exact same all the time,'' Matheny said. ''It's hard for a starting pitching to get to that minus experience and that's what Carlos is going to have to start - just being real aware. ... A big part of consistency is how you hold yourself on that mound.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mets All-Star second baseman Daniel Murphy (hamstring) played five innings in a minor league game Wednesday, and manager Terry Collins was hopeful Murphy would be ready for Monday's opener at Washington.

''We have to keep an open mind,'' Collins said. ''Dan looked tremendous. He looked great at the plate. It's the daily grind of stuff. We certainly have to monitor his workload, but we're hoping the next couple days he gets a little extra work in and we look up this weekend and he joins us.''

Murphy will remain in Port St. Lucie for the rest of the week and continue to play in minor league games.

Mets reliever Vic Black (shoulder) faced three hitters in a minor league game. He is scheduled to pitch again Saturday.

Jaime Garcia (shoulder) will start the season on the disabled list and remain at their spring training facility Jupiter after the team leaves Florida on Thursday. Matheny said Garcia had range of motion and strength tests on his surgically repaired shoulder Tuesday.

CARDINALS ANNOUNCE ROTATION

Lance Lynn will start the Cardinals home opener April 13 against Milwaukee, Matheny announced Wednesday. St. Louis ace Adam Wainwright will start the season opener and be followed in the rotation by Lynn, John Lackey, Michael Wacha and Martinez.

UP NEXT

The Mets and Cardinals wrap up Grapefruit League play Thursday in Jupiter. Right-hander Matt Harvey starts for the Mets and Lance Lynn for the Cardinals.

Link to box score: St. Louis (13-11-2) 5 at New York Mets 4

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