ST. LOUIS June is shaping up as a good month for St. Louis first baseman Jose Martinez.
Martinez and Marcell Ozuna hit two-run homers, rookie Jack Flaherty pitched into the seventh inning, and the Cardinals beat the San Diego Padres 5-2 on Monday night.
Martinez has five homers over his last five games. He had his NL-leading 10th three-hit game of the season and has reached base safely in each of his last 11 games.
Brock Holt (L), 3 percent, Boston Red Sox vs. Chicago White Sox (RHP Reynaldo Lopez): With Dustin Pedroia back on the shelf and the club trying to keep Eduardo Nunez’s knees healthy, Holt has been seeing most of the run at the keystone, hitting in the top five of the order. Lopez continues to outpitch his peripherals, though the regression monster enacted a bit of revenge a couple starts ago versus Cleveland. Unfortunately, unless he improves a 6.1 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9, Lopez is due even more correction.
He works hard all the time, St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. He was great. He did a nice job. He mixed up speeds on everything. He got on base a couple of times and ran hard. He was working on one of our most humid nights so far.
This was a test in many ways. We needed a solid start and he answered. He was very good today.
It was a bounce-back effort for Flaherty, who took an 11-3 loss in his previous start against Miami. Flaherty, 22, has pitched five or more innings in all eight starts this season.
Flaherty retired 14 consecutive batters before issuing a one-walk in the seventh. John Brebbia relieved and walked the bases loaded before getting two strikeouts to end the threat.
I was throwing with more conviction tonight, Flaherty said. Last time out, I said I didn’t really execute well. I was throwing everything with intent. I was using conviction with every single pitch. I was just going out and trying to attack.