The Cardinals had this Memorial Day contest well in hand from the beginning, behind the much improved and excellent pitching of starter Carlos Martinez.
Martinez pitched a gem, eight scoreless innings, five hits, eight strikeouts and only one free pass issued. Trevor Rosenthal closed it out, thought it wasn’t a save situation, striking out the side to put a seal on the deal. Martinez got the well-earned win, his fifth.
The offense got the scoring going in the third inning, with three straight singles from Matt Carpenter, Aledmys Diaz, and Matt Holliday. Carpenter scored on the Holliday single, and a Matt Adams double to left scored Diaz. Holliday then came home on a passed ball.
With the Brewers’ bats kept quiet by Martinez, the Cardinals added on in the fifth and seventh innings. Holliday contributed a solo home run in the seventh; he was 3-for-4 in the game. Carpenter was 3-for-5 with three runs scored, Diaz was 2-for-5.
The hot bats continued into Tuesday’s game, with new dad Matt Carpenter leading the way with four hits and two runs driven in. Aledmys Diaz and Matt Holliday joined the hit parade for the second straight day. Diaz and Holliday were both 2-for-4 with three RBI between them. Jedd Gyorko got in on the fun, as he was 3-for-4, plating three on an eighth inning blast to left center. Stephen Piscotty drove in his 31st run on a first inning single.
Starter Mike Leake tossed six innings, giving up two runs on five hits to earn his fourth win. Seung-Hwan Oh, Kevin Siegrist, and Jonathan Broxton combined for the final three innings, with Siegrist allowing the third Brewers score.
The Cardinal bats were quieted in the rubber game of the series by the strong pitching of Brewers’ starter Zach Davies. The only Cardinal run came in the ninth, a pinch hit solo home run by Brandon Moss.
The Cardinals countered Davies with Jaime Garcia, who pitched five innings, surrendering two runs on five hits. Garcia was the hard luck loser. Matt Bowman relieved for two innings, yielding an additional Brewers run on a solo home run. Jonathan Broxton pitched a final scoreless inning.
Thursday, June 2----Off day.
The Cardinals’ nemesis, the San Francisco Giants, came into Busch Stadium on Friday night, and it was unfortunately business as usual for St. Louis.
The offense could get next to nothing going against starter Johnny Cueto, a long time irritant for the Cardinals. The only score came in the third inning, when Matt Carpenter reached on an error, advanced to second on a Matt Holliday walk, and crossed the plate via an RBI single by Stephen Piscotty, his 32nd RBI of the season.
Adam Wainwright pitched well, but the score didn’t show it. Wainwright pitched seven innings, giving up two runs on five hits, while striking out six. Wainwright was tagged with his fourth loss. Seung-Hwan Oh pitched a scoreless eighth. Trevor Rosenthal entered in the ninth and couldn’t get anyone out, after walking three and allowing three Giants’ runs to score, he was removed for Dean Kiekhefer, who got the first out, and who then yielded to Jonathan Broxton. Broxton got the final two outs.
What at first looked to be a repeat of Friday night took a different turn in the fifth inning thanks to one Aledmys Diaz. With the Redbirds down 4-0, Brandon Moss began the inning with a solo home run to put the Cardinals on the board. After Yadier Molina flied out and Kolten Wong grounded out, pinch hitter Jeremy Hazelbaker singled and Matt Carpenter doubled. Then Diaz hit a rocket just inside the left field fair/foul pole into the stands to tie the game and give the Cardinals new life.
In the sixth, Stephen Piscotty whacked the first pitch he saw for a solo home run, his seventh. Matt Adams followed with a solo shot of his own. The Cardinals added an insurance run in the eighth, when Brandon Moss tripled to left, and scored on a Yadier Molina ground out.
Starter Michael Wacha had a tough night, but was taken off the hook by the Cardinals’ offensive surge. Wacha pitched five innings, giving up four runs on six hits. Tyler Lyons pitched a scoreless sixth, and was the winning pitcher. The bullpen made up for a weak Wacha, as Seung-Hwan Oh, Kevin Siegrist and Trevor Rosenthal pitched three straight scoreless innings. Rosenthal, who pitched much better than the previous night, struck out two and earned his ninth save.
A later inning surge again was the formula for success in this rubber game of the series against the Giants.
The Cardinals actually got on the board first, in the third inning starting with a leadoff double from Randal Grichuk. A sac bunt from starter Carlos Martinez moved Grichuk to third, a single from Matt Carpenter brought Grichuk home.
The Giants came back in the top half of the fourth and scored two runs off Martinez to take the lead. Another run in the sixth put the Redbirds behind by three. But the team fought back in the bottom frame of the sixth. Back to back doubles by Carpenter and Diaz scored Carpenter. Matt Holliday drew a walk and Stephen Piscotty was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Three more runs scored on a Matt Adams single, an error on a force attempt on a Yadier Molina grounder and a Greg Garcia force out. The Cardinals added an insurance run in the eighth via three straight singles by Adams, Molina and Jedd Gyorko and a Grichuk ground out.
Carlos Martinez earned his sixth win of the season, thanks to the sixth inning offensive surge. Martinez pitched six innings, giving up three runs on four hits. Two of the runs scored on a bizarre home run by Jarrett Parker, on a ball that looked like a foul ball off the bat, but somehow managed to get over the fence. Martinez was relieved by Jonathan Broxton, who got one out and yielded to Kevin Siegrist, who retired the final two. Seung-Hwan Oh pitched a scoreless eighth, and Trevor Rosenthal pitched a scoreless ninth for his tenth save.
NL Central Standings
Matt Adams continues on the hot list, he had an OPS of .844 this past week, with one HR, two doubles and three RBI.
Matt Carpenter returns to the hot list on a seven day OPS of 1.175, with four doubles, two triples and two RBI.
Matt Holliday remains hot, with an OPS of .982, one HR and five RBI.
Brandon Moss has heated up, he has an OPS of 1.533 this past week, posting three HRs, one triple and three RBI.
Jedd Gyorko comes back to the hot list, his seven day OPS is 1.431 with one HR and three RBI.
Aledmys Diaz is hot again. He has an OPS of .891 with one HR and four RBI.
Carlos Martinez has reheated, he won his last start decisively with an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of .075.
Mike Leake is hot, with a record of 1-0, an ERA of 3.00 and a WHIP of 1.00.
Jeremy Hazelbaker continues on the cold list with an OPS of .571.
Yadier Molina is even colder than last week with an OPS of .100.
Kolten Wong remains cold with an OPS of .432.
Randal Grichuk re-enters the cold list with an OPS of .111.
Michael Wacha continues on the cold list, his record this past week is 0-1 for an ERA of 5.73.
A Look at Cardinals’ Lineups
The top three in the lineups this past week continued to be Matt Carpenter, Aledmys Diaz, and Matt Holliday.
Stephen Piscotty missed a day due to illness but finished the week in clean-up. Matt Adams hit fourth in Piscotty’s absence.
Adams occupied the fifth spot in the lineup, other than the one day in clean-up. Brandon Moss hit fifth that day.
The six hole has seen a mixture of Yadier Molina, Randal Grichuk, Jeremy Hazelbaker and Moss.
After one start in the sixth spot, the ice cold Molina has moved down one place to seventh.
The eighth spot has been the home of Kolten Wong, Jedd Gyorko and Greg Garcia.
Trade and Acquisition Rumors
There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.
The Cardinals released SS Ruben Tejada.
The Cardinals signed free agent P Jerome Williams to a minor league contract and assigned him to Memphis.
The Cardinals sent SS Jhonny Peralta on a rehab assignment to Palm Beach Cardinals.
Jhonny Peralta (left thumb ligament) was relocated to Palm Beach to continue his rehab. Peralta is expected to be reactivated on Tuesday, June 7.
Seth Maness (right elbow) continues on the DL. Maness began throwing on the Cardinals’ recent road trip and will begin throwing bullpen sessions on the way to a rehab assignment.
Brayan Pena (left knee) continues to progress and is expected to begin a rehab assignment on Tuesday, June 7 at Double-A Springfield.
Following the series conclusion against the Giants on Sunday night, the Cardinals travel to Cincinnati for a three game series against the Reds beginning Tuesday. Mike Leake will start on Tuesday, followed by Jaime Garcia on Wednesday and Adam Wainwright on Thursday.
The Cardinals then travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates in a weekend series. Michael Wacha is scheduled to make the Friday start. Saturday and Sunday’s starters are to be announced, but will likely be Carlos Martinez followed by Mike Leake again on Sunday.
The Cardinals are off on the following Monday, and return home for a two game interleague series with the Houston Astros.
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