Last Sunday, Cardinals right-hander Carlos Martinez pitched once of his best games, as the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers at Busch Stadium. This time, the setting changed, with St. Louis heading west to face the Dodgers in Los Angeles.
But the pitching performance was just as good.
Martinez pitched seven innings, allowed three hits, struck out a career high 11 batters, and his ERA dropped to 2.94, as the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1 Friday night.
While Martinez was on the mound for St. Louis, Brett Anderson took the mound for the Dodgers.
In the top of the first inning, aside from a walk to left fielder Matt Holliday, Anderson got three Cardinals to ground out and end the top half of the inning. The bottom of the first started with a strikeout of lead off hitter Joc Pederson and a ground out by Jimmy Rollins. Power hitter Adrian Gonzalez then walked, and Yasmani Grandal put the Dodgers in a good position to score the first run of the game.
Martinez, however, got Andre Ethier to fly out to end the inning.
Los Angeles did end up scoring first in the game the following inning. Alberto Callaspo led off with a walk, and Scott Schlebler singled afterwards. Enrique Hernandez singled as well to load the bases with no one out. Anderson struck out, but Pederson walked to score Callaspo, and give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.
Rollins then grounded into a double play to end the threat.
The top of the third inning began with a Martinez ground out, followed by a Kolten Wong one out single. Matt Carpenter, though, grounded into an inning-ending double play, as the Cardinals came up short once again. In the bottom half of the third, Martinez pitched his first 1-2-3 inning of the game, which included two straight strikeouts of Grandal and Ethier.
He would do the same in the bottom of the fourth inning, with the first out being a Callaspo fly out, followed with strikeouts of Hernandez and Schlebler.
Both Martinez and Anderson went deep into the game, as these two rival teams engaged in a pitchers duel that would ultimately come down to the final innings of the game. They continued to pitch scoreless innings, and the only blemish Martinez had on his scorecard was the walk to Pederson that scored a run in the bottom of the second.
During the sixth inning, following a 1-2-3 inning by Anderson, Martinez went back to work. He walked Gonzalez, but preceded to strike out Grandal, Ethier, and Callaspo, to end the inning, though the Dodgers still led the Cardinals 1-0.
The top of the seventh inning started with a line out by Jhonny Peralta, then a strikeout by Randal Grichuk, and a ground out by Mark Reynolds, as once again, Anderson shut the Cardinals down in order. But Martinez followed suit, as Schlebler lined out, Hernandez popped out, and Anderson struck out, as the game headed to the eighth.
And St. Louis finally put runs on the board to back up their young pitcher.
After a walk to Yadier Molina, Pete Kozma entered the game to pinch run for him. Jason Heyward then singled, as Kozma advanced to second. Tony Cruz, pinch hitting for Martinez, laid down a sacrifice bunt, and Wong singled, scoring Kozma, tying the game. Carpenter hit a sacrifice fly to Ethier in right field, scoring Heyward and giving the Cardinals a 2-1 lead.
The final line of the evening for Martinez: 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 11 K.
Juan Nicasio entered the game, as Anderson’s day was done on the mound as well. Nicasio got Matt Holliday to fly out to end the inning.
Randy Choate pitched in relief for Martinez, as did Kevin Siegrist, both in the bottom of the eighth inning, and kept the Dodgers from scoring another run. Closer Trevor Rosenthal entered the game in the following inning, and did the exact same thing: keep the Dodgers scoreless, as the Cardinals won 2-1, and officially win the season series against Los Angeles.
Martinez improves to 6-2 with the win, as Anderson drops to 2-4. The Cardinals improve to 37-18, while the Dodgers drop to 31-24.
On Saturday, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw takes on Jaime Garcia.
(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)