Game Report: Cardinals 2, Brewers 1

By Rob Rains

Carlos Martinez and Kolten Wong both believed they had something to prove on Tuesday night – and then went out and did it, leading the Cardinals to the win over the Brewers at Busch Stadium.

Martinez came into the game riding a string of four consecutive poor starts in which he had a 6.33 ERA and was still looking for his first victory of the season.

Wong was coming off only one bad game, but it was his baserunning mistake and fielding error which combined to play a major role in the Cardinals’ 7-5, 10-inning loss to the Brewers on Monday night.

All Martinez did was limit the Brewers to four hits over 7 1/3 innings, leading to one unearned run. Wong came through with some outstanding defensive plays and went 2-for-3 at the plate, driving in one of the two St. Louis runs.

“Everything worked out the way I wanted,” said Martinez through an interpreter. “I’ve been working really hard and I’ve always had faith in myself and my team and I knew it was going to come eventually.”

Wong thought he was going to leave the clubhouse after the game before the media arrived and had left a prepared note on the chair in front of his locker explaining that he had to leave and that “I did my job tonight.”

Reporters wanted more details from him, however.

“Obviously there are going to be nights like last (Monday) night that you want to forget and that’s what I did,” he said. “I accepted the fact I had a bad night, forgot about it and came in tonight and did my job.”

Manager Mike Matheny had reassured Wong before he left Busch Stadium on Monday night that he would be playing on Tuesday night, and was definitely pleased with how Wong responded to the opportunity.

“I think today was a huge day in the career of Kolten Wong and his growth,” Matheny said. “He owned up yesterday and sat there and faced the music, but then went out and did what he needed to do to get back to being the player he has been for a while.”

It was a different response then Wong might have delivered when faced with a similar situation in the past, something even he acknowledged.

“I’m growing as a player, being able to let adversity go,” he said. “Before I wasn’t that good at it. Now I’m just going out and playing the game.”

Matheny also was happy for Martinez, who he said had “complete game, shutout stuff.”
Martinez retired the first 12 batters he faced before Travis Shaw singled on an 0-2 pitch leading off the fifth, Milwaukee’’s only hit until Domingo Santana got an infield single with two outs in the seventh. He later scored following a fielding error by Matt Carpenter on a single by Jett Bandy.

Martinez, now 1-3, has never thrown a complete game or a shutout in his major-league career.

“Carlos was everything we needed,” Matheny said. “I think what he did today was he found out what he had before he left the bullpen. He saw that he had really good movement and he had the velocity to go with the movement. I think he built his game around that.”

Martinez left one out into the eighth, and Brett Cecil pitched around a one out single to finish the inning before Trevor Rosenthal pitched the ninth to earn his third save.

The Cardinals had staked Martinez to a 2-0 lead in the sixth. Carpenter led off with a single and went to third on a double by Stephen Piscotty which knocked starter Wily Peralta out of the game. Yadier Molina greeted reliever Jacob Barnes with a sacrifice fly, and following a walk, Wong delivered his RBI single

Key stat: Peralta is 0-9 in his last 11 starts against the Cardinals. His last win came on Aug. 1, 2014.

Worth noting: Before the game the Cardinals placed left-hander Tyler Lyons on the 10-day disabled list because of a right intercostal strain. Lyons pitched one inning on Monday night, only his second appearance since coming off the DL on April 20. He was sidelined at the start of the season while recovering from off-season knee surgery. To replace Lyons the Cardinals recalled right-hander Sam Tuivailala from Memphis … The Cardinals used the same eight position players, in the same spot in the batting order, for the fourth consecutive game … Right-hander Luke Weaver, one of the Cardinals’ best prospects, was activated off the DL for Memphis on Tuesday and made the start at Omaha, his first appearance since coming out of his opening day start for the Redbirds after two innings because of back tightness. He threw six shutout innings, allowing just three hits while striking out five.

Looking ahead: Adam Wainwright will get the start for the Cardinals in the third game of the series on Wednesday night . Chase Anderson is scheduled to start for the Brewers.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains