Game Report: Cardinals 9, Marlins 4

Carlos Martinez picked a perfect time for his first hit of the season.

Martinez doubled with the bases loaded in the second inning to drive in three runs, sparking the Cardinals to their fourth consecutive win Monday night in Miami – which vaulted them into first place in the NL Central.

Martinez added another RBI with a single in the fourth after coming into the game 0-for-11.

On the mound, Martinez won his second game of the season, allowing three runs over six innings.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: The other Cardinal with two hits was Magneuris Sierra, who got the start for the second game in a row in center field. He had a pair of singles and also scored two runs … Matt Carpenter tripled in two runs in a four-run fourth that increased the Cardinals’ lead to 7-0 … Jedd Gyorko’s double drove in the other run … Kolten Wong had a singe in four at-bats to extend his career-high hitting streak to 13 games.

On the mound: All of the runs off Martinez came on two homers from Marcel Ozuna, a two-run shot in the fourth and a solo shot in the sixth. Martinez walked two and struck out seven … The last Miami run came on a homer by Giancarlo Stanton in the ninth off Miguel Socolovich. Socolovoch earned his first save by pitching the final three innings.

Key stat: Martinez had been 0-for-4 in his career with the bases loaded, This was his sixth career game with two hits and the four RBIs was a career high. He had never before driven in more than two runs in a game; his double was the fourth of his career.

Worth noting
: The Cardinals have won their last seven road games; they won eight in a row on the road last season … Martinez became only the third pitcher on the Cardinals since 1986 to drive in four runs without hitting a home run. The others were Adam Wainwright last season and Woody Williams in 2003 … The win, combined with the Reds loss to the Yankees on Monday night, left the Cardinals a half-game ahead of the Reds and one game in front of the Cubs.

Looking ahead: Adam Wainwright gets the start on Tuesday night in the second game of the series while Dan Straily will start for the Marlins.