Game Report: Cardinals 3, Reds 2

The last time the Cardinals swept a four-game series in Cincinnati, Jackie Robinson was in his third season with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

On the anniversary of Robinson’s major-league debut, a day set aside by Major League Baseball each year to honor Robinson’s legacy, the Cardinals finished off that first sweep since 1949 on Sunday behind seven shutout innings from Carlos Martinez and a two-run homer from Harrison Bader.

The Cardinals won their ninth consecutive game in Cincinnati dating back to last season.
They had a 3-0 lead when Martinez left the game for a pinch-hitter but saw the Reds pull close on homers by Billy Hamilton, off Tyler Lyons, and Adam DuVall, off Bud Norris, before Norris was able to close out the victory.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: The Cardinals managed only two hits off Homer Bailey through the first six innings but one of them was the homer from Bader, his first of the year, in the second. Yadier Molina singled with one out before he was forced at second by Greg Garcia prior to Bader’s homer … They did not get another hit until a double by Jose Martinez with one out in the seventh … Matt Carpenter was 0-of-4, dropping his season average to .160 … Dexter Fowler also was 0-of-4 and is now hitting .183 … Marcell Ozuna had his first day off of the season.

On the mound
: Martinez allowed just two hits, walked four and struck out a season-high 11 as he lowered his ERA to 1.75. He was able to strand a runner on third base in the first, third and fourth innings … Since his loss on opening day to the Mets, Martinez has allowed just one earned run over a combined 21 1/3 innings in his last three starts … It was the 10th double-digit strikeout game of Martinez’s career and second this season … Lyons and Norris each allowed a home run to the first batter they faced, in the eighth and ninth innings. An infield hit and throwing error on Greg Garcia put the tying run on second with no outs against Norris in the ninth, but he got two strikeouts and after a hit batter, finished the game by getting Hamilton to fly to left.

Key stats: The Cardinals outscored the Reds 27-10 in the four-game series … The starting pitchers for the Cardinals - Michael Wacha, Luke Weaver, Miles Mikolas and Martinez - combined to pitch 25 innings and allowed just six earned runs.

Worth noting: The Cardinals have hit at least one home run in all 10 of their games on the road this year and are tied with the Rockies for the most homers in the NL with 24 … The actual length of Sunday’s game was 2 hours, 40 minutes, four minutes longer than the rain delay before the game began … Martinez has hit a batter in each of his four starts this season … Both Luke Gregerson and Jedd Gyorko could join the Cardinals on Monday in Chicago. Gregerson completed his rehab assignment to Palm Beach on Friday night while Gyorko was in Florida getting multiple at-bats in extended spring training games … Pitching at Memphis on Saturday night, Daniel Poncedeleon had a career-high 12 strikeouts in five innings.

Looking ahead:
The Cardinals are scheduled to open a three-game series against the Cubs on Monday night in Chicago. Adam Wainwright will get the start, weather permitting. The game between the Braves and Cubs at Wrigley Field scheduled for Sunday was rained out.