Game Report: Cardinals 3, Giants 2

It took a little while, but Carlos Martinez appears to have returned to how he was pitching before missing a month with an injury.

Martinez allowed just one run over seven innings on Saturday to defeat the Giants in San Francisco and win his third consecutive start. Those wins came after a four-game stretch when he went 0-2 and had an 8.10 ERA after returning from a right lat strain.

Over his last three starts, Martinez has allowed five earned runs in 19 innings. On Saturday, he did not walk a batter for the first time since April 26.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: Martinez helped himself at the plate as well, doubling in the Cardinals’ first run in the third inning … They increased the lead to 3-0 in the fourth on a sacrifice fly from Dexter Fowler – his first RBI since May 31 – and a RBI single from Francisco Pena, giving Yadier Molina a day off… Of the Cardinals’ seven hits in the game, four of them came in the fourth inning, all singles.

On the mound: Martinez shut out the Giants on three hits through the first five innings. Gorkys Hernandez singled to lead off the sixth and scored on a two-out double by Brandon Belt … The Giants cut the lead to 3-2 in the eighth on an infield single, a wild pitch and Belt’s RBI single off Jordan Hicks … Bud Norris, after being unavailable for the last two games because of a sore finger, retired the side in order in the ninth for his 17th save.

Key stat: The win was only the fifth in 27 games this year for the Cardinals when they did not hit at least one home run. They are just 2-9 on the road when they fail to homer, with the other win coming on May 27 in Pittsburgh.

Looking ahead: Jack Flaherty will get the start on Sunday in the final game of the series.