Cards beat Brewers 6-0 in DH opener
ST. LOUIS — Playing time in the St. Louis outfield has been hard to come by for Jose Martinez lately. He earned some more Tuesday afternoon.
Martinez hit two solo homers and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-0 in the opener of a day-night doubleheader.
Martinez connected in the fifth and eighth innings for his first multi-homer game. He added a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning.
“He’s doing a nice job, even in the outfield,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “He’s doing everything we ask and you talk about dangerous hitters, I think you can count him in that category.”
Martinez had just one at-bat in since June 7 entering the game. The 28-year-old had finally earned regular playing time earlier this season, before a groin injury sidelined him for three weeks. Since then, Dexter Fowler, Tommy Pham and Stephen Piscotty have solidified the Cardinals outfield.
“When you’re not playing, you’ve got to be ready for every opportunity,” Martinez said. “Everything is mental. You’ve got to be mentally prepared 100 percent and try to make something happen every time and not try to do too much.”
Martinez’s 415-foot opposite field drive to right-center ignited a three-run Cardinals rally in the fifth. Matt Carpenter followed with an RBI double and scored on Fowler’s single to make it 3-0.
Kolten Wong had an RBI double as the Cardinals extended their lead to 5-0 in the sixth.
Martinez’s homer to left in the eighth travelled 436 feet. The game was especially meaningful because it was the first time his mother, visiting from Venezuela, had gotten to see him play in the big leagues.
“You never know what’s going to happen tomorrow and that’s the deal for me,” Martinez said. “You’ve got to go out there and do your best.”
Right-hander Lance Lynn (5-3) struggled with his control with four walks, but was able to get out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the fifth. Lynn struck out eight, including the side in the fourth inning.
“They put together some good at-bats,” Lynn said. “There wasn’t too many hard hit balls either. I had good stuff; I was just missing here and there at times.”
John Brebbia pitched a perfect sixth inning and Tyler Lyons pitched the final three innings to earn his first career save. The Cardinals bullpen allowed three hits in four innings.
Lefty Brent Suter, recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs as the Brewers’ 26th man for the doubleheader, got the surprise start after right-hander Brandon Woodruff had his major league debut postponed during warm-ups because of right hamstring soreness.
Suter (0-1) started with four innings of one-hit ball, before running into trouble in the fifth. He also recorded his first major league hit with a single to left in the top of the fifth inning.
“I was surprised to say the least,” Suter said. “I was in there eating crackers getting ready for the game and got the call, ‘Hey Sute.’ I thought it was like bad news or something. I thought something happened. It turns out it kind of was bad news Woody went down. But 25 minutes later I’m starting at Busch Stadium.”
Chad Huffman recorded his first Major League extra base hit with a triple in the Cardinals’ three-run fifth. It was his first hit since June 27, 2010 at Los Angeles, marking the eighth-longest streak between hits since 2000.
The Brewers couldn’t capitalize on Lynn’s lack of command, stranding seven runners in the first five innings. Hernan Perez popped to shallow center in the fifth after a walk had loaded the bases with one out in the fifth and Travis Shaw flied out to center to leave the bases loaded.
The Cardinals announced that Ryker James was born Tuesday morning to Tate and Margaret Matheny, making manager Mike Matheny a grandfather for the first time.
Brewers: 3B Shaw (family medical emergency) was reinstated. RHP Rob Scahill was designated for assignment and OF Brett Phillips was optioned to Colorado Springs.
Cardinals: RHP Sam Tuivailala was recalled from Triple-A Memphis, INF Jhonny Peralta was given his unconditional release and INF Paul DeJong was optioned to Memphis.
Brewers: RHP Jimmy Nelson (4-3, 3.45 ERA) has won his past two decisions. He is 0-8 with a 7.09 ERA in 10 appearances against St. Louis.
Cardinals: LHP Marco Gonzales (debut) was recalled from Memphis to make his first start since Sept. 1, 2015, after missing all of 2016 after Tommy John surgery.