Jason Heyward and Jhonny Peralta both hit solo home runs to back a solid start from Carlos Martinez as the St. Louis Cardinals downed the punchless Milwaukee Brewers 3-0 in the opener of a three- game series.
Martinez (2-0) lasted a career-high seven innings, struck out eight and scattered four hits and two walks to pick up the win.
“I tried to keep the baseball down because the ball here flies a lot,” Martinez said through a translator. “I feel really happy, really good.”
Yadier Molina plated a run with a groundout in the second inning, and Heyward and Peralta took Matt Garza deep in the third and sixth frames, respectively.
Garza (1-3) posted a quality start but got little help from his teammates. He was charged with three runs on seven hits over six innings.
“I threw the ball well, but not well enough,” Garza said.
The Brewers snapped an eight-game losing streak on Thursday and were looking to win consecutive games for the first time this season. Instead they were shut out for the third time and fell to an MLB-worst 3-14.
Milwaukee ran itself out of several innings. Ryan Braun was doubled off on a delayed tag-up in the first, and Garza was thrown out on an attempted steal that went awry in the third. Garza worked a walk leading off the inning and moved to second on a single before both runners broke on the first pitch of the next at-bat, but Gerardo Parra pulled back his bunt attempt and Garza was thrown out at third.
All told, the Brewers went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded five.
Martinez retired 10 of the final 11 hitters he faced, Jordan Walden threw a 1-2-3 eighth and Trevor Rosenthal closed out the Cardinals’ eighth win in nine games with a perfect ninth. Rosenthal picked up his seventh save.