Carlos Martinez 8-1 On The Road, Cardinals Insurance Off Reds Diaz Errors In 5-2 Win To Avoid Sweep

High Socks Sunday, Randal Grichuk slugs out a two-hole shot in the second for Cardinals 23 consecutive games with home runs.
David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Reds come to Game Three holding a 2-0 series lead over the St. Louis Cardinals. Carlos Martinez (13-7/3.07 ERA) took the mound, 7-1 on the road this season. The last he pitched in Great American Ball Park, 2015, he held a 1.96 ERA. He faced Reds rookie Tim Adleman (2-3/4.02 ERA) making his debut against the Cardinals.  

The game began much as the first two with Adleman taking down the side. Martinez followed suit with three up and three down in his first. Martinez was solid in his stand with command and control much as he was in 2015. He held the Reds scoreless through six; but, he closed his day giving up two earned runs, issued five walks and had six strikeouts in his six innings pitched. Adelman, retired after five innings, gave up 2 HR/3 ER, only issued one free pass and, also, struck out six for his third loss. 

The Cardinals chalked up another game, 23 straight, with a home run. In Adelman's second, Randal Grichuk crunched out a two-run homer out over the right wall. This was Grichuk's 21 season home run and second in September. He had a two-run home run, August 29; and, that was the last game the Cardinals had a multi-run home run.

In Adelman's fifth, he faced top-of-the-order Kolten Wong, who had not played in this series; nor, the past three games for the Cardinals. The first two games against the Milwaukee Brewers, Wong was 3-7 AB/1 HR/2 RBI. He didn't waste a pitch by Adelman, he sailed the two-seamer out, 403', over right center for a solo shot to give the Cardinals a 3-0 lead. 

The Cardinals would get two more insurance runs, compliments of Reds reliever Jumbo Diaz. In the sixth, Diaz followed Adelman. He got his first out. Stephen Piscotty with an infield scribbler and safe at first on an error throw by 1B Joey Votto. Piscotty would get his seventh steal of the season, "after a review" deemed his safe. Yadier Molina still at the plate, full count, connects for a single to center. Runners on first and third. Piscotty scores and Molina safe at second on an error throw by J Diaz to first. Greg Garcia at the plate drawing a full count by DIaz, connects to center for a fly-out as Molina advances to third. Randal Grichuk at the plate. On a 0-2 pitch, Diaz delivers a high pitch just off the glove of catcher Ramon Cabrera for a wild pitch. Molina crosses home for Cardinals fifth run.  

Martinez, looking at a shutout as he stranded three in his sixth. One out on the board and he gets the 4-6-3 double play to get out of jammed bases. 

Martinez returned In the seventh. He would see his possible shutout disappear on his watch. He allowed a single, RBI double by Ivan De Jesus; followed by, Tyler Holt's RBI single to cut the Cardinals lead to three. Holt did not start the game. He had replaced CF Billy Hamilton in the third at the plate. Hamilton had to exit after a check swing, 2-1 count, and was unable to finish his at-bat. Later reported a strained left oblique. 

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny made a call to the pen. Zach Duke followed Martinez, no outs on the board, Cardinals 5-2 lead. He got his first out; but, then loaded the bases. Brandon Moss, playing left field for the game, was 0-4 at the plate; but makes the defensive throw of the day to hand Duke a tremendous double play for the tag at the dish. 

An incredible 7-2 double play by Moss to Molina to retire Duke's jam. If there is beauty in baseball, in my opinion there is, that DP was one of those. This was one of four double plays for the Cardinals yesterday. The Cardinals "teamwork" displayed was hitting on all cylinders in Game Three. 

Both Kevin Siegrist (H-14) and closer Seung Hwan Oh held the Reds, for Oh's 15 save and handed Martinez his 13 win. The Cardinals stay a sweep by the Reds with the 5-2 win. They packed up and traveled to PNC Park, Pittsburgh, to face the Pirates. Game time today will be at 3:00 CST.