Game Report: Cardinals 5, Reds 2

Needing a win on Sunday to avoid being swept by the last-place Reds, the Cardinals turned to their two most reliable sources of success this season – Carlos Martinez and their power.

Neither let them down.

Martinez pitched into the seventh inning, holding the Reds scoreless until that inning, and Randal Grichuk and Kolten Wong homered to give Martinez some runs to work with.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: Grichuk’s two-run homer came in the second, his 21st of the season, and Wong added a solo homer in the fifth to increase the lead to 3-0 … It was the 23rd consecutive game in which the Cardinals hit at least one homer, just two shy of the NL record of 25 consecutive games set earlier this year by the Padres … A pair of errors by the Reds and a wild pitch let the Cardinals add two unearned runs in the sixth … The Cardinals had only three other hits besides the two home runs, two of them singles by Yadier Molina … Matt Carpenter was 0-for-4 and was just 1-for-11 in the series and is now 3-for-23 on the road trip.

On the mound:
Martinez allowed seven hits and walked five, but was helped out by four Cardinals’ double plays. He raised his record to 13-7, leaving the game after allowing three consecutive hits and the two runs in the seventh …. Zach Duke got out of that inning, Kevin Siegrist pitched the eighth and Seung Hwan Oh the ninth, recording his 15th save.

Key stat: After getting just one hit in the first five games of the road trip with a runner In scoring position, the Cardinals doubled that total on Sunday, including Grichuk’s homer. They were still just 2-for-7 with a man on second or third, and are now 3-for-33 in those situations on the current road trip.

Of note: Before the game the Cardinals promoted catcher Carson Kelly from Triple A Memphis and activated catcher Brayan Pena from the 60-day disabled list. To open up those roster spots, Memphis infielder Dean Anna was designated for assignment and pitcher Seth Maness was moved to the 60-day DL. … Shortstop Aledmys Diaz served as the DH for Palm Beach for the second consecutive day on Sunday and was 1-for-3 with a walk. Diaz is expected to play at Double A Springfield this week in the next step in his recovery from a broken thumb … The Gulf Coast League Cardinals advanced to the league’s championship series with a 6-2 win over the Red Sox on Sunday, getting five scoreless innings from 17-year-old right-hander Alvaro Seijas. The best of three finals against the Phillies will begin Monday in Palm Beach.

Looking ahead
: The Cardinals will be in Pittsburgh to open a three-game series against the Pirates on Monday. Adam Wainwright gets the start in the Labor Day game, which begins at 3:10 p.m. St. Louis time.