MILWAUKEE (AP) - Carlos Martinez likes pitching in Miller Park, and it shows.
Martinez struck out eight in seven innings, Jason Heyward and Jhonny Peralta homered, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 3-0 Friday night.
“I feel good in this stadium,” the 23-year-old Martinez said through a translator. “I like the mound.”
Martinez (2-0) gave up four hits and walked two in the longest of his 11 career starts. The right-hander has a 2.04 ERA in eight road games against the Brewers, with 19 strikeouts in 17 2/3 innings.
“I don’t know what it is about Milwaukee, but he’s bouncing and jumping all over the place. He was a little higher energy than we’ve seen,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “He had a very live fastball today and I thought he used his other stuff effectively, but his fastball was the story.”
Martinez has won each of his last two starts while lowering his ERA to 1.35 for the season.
“He’s attacking the hitters, putting them away with that slider, with that changeup,” catcher Yadier Molina said.
Jordan Walden pitched the eighth and Trevor Rosenthal finished for his seventh save in seven tries, completing a five-hitter.
Heyward belted a solo shot off Matt Garza in the third, lifting St. Louis to a 2-0 lead. Peralta homered leading off the sixth.
Garza (1-3) allowed seven hits in six innings while striking out a season-high six.
Milwaukee has dropped nine of 10. At 3-14, the Brewers have the worst record in the majors.
The Brewers threatened in the third, but were hurt by poor baserunning.
Garza led off with his fourth career walk and advanced to second on Jean Segura’s single. As Gerardo Parra squared to bunt, Garza broke for third. Initially ruled safe, Garza was called out after a review. Parra then struck out and Segura was caught stealing.
Molina’s run-scoring groundout got St. Louis on the board in the second, but the six-time All-Star left in the fifth in what the team said was a precautionary move. Molina was in pain after a foul tip struck him in the knee guard in the fourth. He is day to day.
Molina took a foul ball off the same knee last week.
“I was feeling better and boom, tonight I get hit again in the same spot,” he said. “He got me on the muscle. It’s just a big bruise.”
Entering Friday night’s game, Molina, known for his strong arm, had only thrown out one attempted base stealer. Then he cut down two baserunners in in the third inning.
“I was excited. It’s been a while,” Molina said. “I feel good to get the outs.”
Cardinals: OF Peter Bourjos returned after being on paternity leave for three days. His wife, Ashley, gave birth to a son, Maxton. Infielder Dean Anna was optioned to Triple-A Memphis to clear a roster spot for Bourjos.
Brewers: OF Carlos Gomez continues to make progress in recovering from a right hamstring injury. He is on the 15-day disabled list. “He’s hitting again out on the field. He ran on the treadmill,” manager Ron Roenicke said. “Hopefully, it’ll be those 15 days or just a couple added onto that.”
Cardinals: Adam Wainwright (2-1, 1.71 ERA) took the loss against the Brewers in St. Louis’ home opener on April 13. He is 12-8 with a 2.37 ERA in 31 career games versus the Brewers.
Brewers: Wily Peralta (0-2, 5.68 ERA) will make his second start of the season against St. Louis. He is 4-5 with a 4.58 ERA in 10 career starts against the Cardinals, but went 3-1 with a 2.18 ERA in five starts against them last season.
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