Carlos Martinez showed why he deserves to be a National League All-Star. He went 7 1/3 scoreless innings and the Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-1. Martinez is 7-1 with a 1.20 ERA in his last 10 starts and improved to 10-3 overall on the season.
He was locked in a battle with Pirates starter Jeff Locke until the fifth inning when the offense came around. The Cardinals scored four on a pair of two runs singles from Matt Carpenter and Yadier Molina. Both ended the night with two hits apiece.
St. Louis (56-31) opened a 5.5 game lead on the Pirates in the NL Central. Pittsburgh (50-35) had its five-game winning streak snapped in the opener of a four-game series.
Martinez’ hope of the All-Star game rest on the fingers of the fans when it comes to final voting, but Cardinals fans certainly recognize his value in the first half of the season. Credit to Carlos, his focus isn’t on the game in Cincinnati next week, it’s on the success of the Cardinals.
“The All-Star Game would be nice, but I just wanted to go out and pitch as long as I could to help the team win the game,” Martinez said. “That’s my job.”
Matt Holliday could come back this weekend, just as a pinch hitter. He should be back in the lineup after the All Star break.