Martinez throws first career shutout as Cardinals defeat Phillies 7-0
ST. LOUIS -- Carlos Martinez has been waiting for this moment.
The St. Louis Cardinals' ace right-hander struck out 11 and beat the Philadelphia Phillies 7-0 on Saturday, the first shutout and first complete game of his career.
"All I can really say is I'm living out my dream," Martinez said through an interpreter. "This was one of my goals, one of my dreams. The next one is to pitch a perfect game. And I just feel so happy with my performance. I was completely focused today. All of my pitches were perfect, in my opinion. The location, they were perfect. I'm just really happy."
Jedd Gyorko drove in three runs for the Cardinals, who have won two straight against the Phillies after their seven-game skid on their recent trip.
"I think it kind of gets everyone feeling good," Cardinals catcher Eric Fryer said. "Obviously the road trip was a rough one. Coming here, getting the win, breaking the streak, was obviously what we wanted to accomplish. Then coming out here and Carlos putting his foot down and just saying let's get going, it's pretty nice."
Martinez (5-5) allowed four hits and walked one. Martinez's 101st pitch of the game was a 100 mph fastball that struck out Howie Kendrick for the second out in the ninth.
The young righty has turned in some impressive performances in his four-year career -- including tossing nine shutout innings in a 13-inning game last month -- but Saturday's start may go down as the best of them.
"I think he would tell you it was his best," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "I don't think we could disagree. What more would you want? He had the strikeouts when he wanted them. He pitched to contact at other times. He had the live fastball and wanted to show it off late because he still had it. Just did a little bit of everything. I thought he had a real nice rhythm too."
"He threw all his pitches for strikes and changed speeds and had that velocity late in the game," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.
Martinez survived a scare in the seventh inning when he was hit by a pitch on his pitching hand from Phillies reliever Jeanmar Gomez. He was down on the ground briefly but got up and stayed in the game. He later scored from third base on a sacrifice fly by Gyorko.
"Thank God it wasn't anything major," Martinez said. "I saw the ball. I thought it was coming right to my face. That's why I reacted so quickly and moved out of the way. It only got my hand and nothing major."
The Cardinals gave Martinez all the run support he would need with a four-run fourth, which tied their season high for runs in an inning, and then three runs in the seventh.
Gyorko opened the scoring with a two-run double off the wall in right-center, after a leadoff walk by Dexter Fowler and a double by Stephen Piscotty. Gyorko scored on a balk by Nick Pivetta. Fryer made it 4-0 with an RBI single.
Pivetta (1-3), making his sixth career start, allowed four runs and four hits in five innings, with four walks and two strikeouts.
St. Louis added three runs in the seventh on Matt Carpenter's two-run double and Gyorko's sacrifice fly. The Cardinals finished with six hits.
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Pivetta, the Phillies' starter, picked off Fowler and Tommy Pham to end the first and second innings.
BALK THIS WAY
Pivetta's fourth-inning balk was the Phillies' seventh of the season. The seven balks have come from seven pitchers.
Phillies: 2B Cesar Hernandez was not in the lineup Saturday after experiencing tightness in his side during Friday's game.
Cardinals: C Yadier Molina was scratched from the lineup for the second straight game with lower back stiffness.
Phillies: RHP Aaron Nola (3-3, 4.28) tossed seven shutout innings, allowing just two hits, in his only previous start against the Cardinals.
Cardinals: RHP Adam Wainwright (6-4, 4.82) is 6-2 with a 2.85 ERA in 15 appearances (13 starts) against the Phillies. He is 3-0 with a 0.47 ERA in three day game starts this season.