Martinez's mission? Keep Cardinals' momentum vs. Twins going in Minneapolis
While the organization will have to endure an off-the-field controversy, the St. Louis Cardinals continue to excel in between the lines.
They'll look for a sixth consecutive win and third in a row against the Minnesota Twins when the teams head to Target Field on Wednesday night.
The Cardinals are part of a federal investigation looking into whether some of their employees hacked into the Houston Astros' computer system. The Astros' network, called Ground Control, reportedly included databases, contract information, scouting evaluations and discussions of trades.
"The St. Louis Cardinals are aware of the investigation into the security breach of the Houston Astros' database. The team has fully cooperated with the investigation and will continue to do so. Given that this is an ongoing federal investigation, it is not appropriate for us to comment further," the team said in a statement.
A couple of hours after news of the investigation broke, the Cardinals (43-21) beat the Twins 3-2 in Tuesday's finale of a two-game series at Busch Stadium.
"We have opportunities for distraction every day," manager Mike Matheny said. "It's part of what we do, it's a big part of what we do. We divide them into the controllables and the uncontrollables and this is one of the uncontrollables. We don't have any clue what's going on."
The Cardinals have relied on their pitching during the win streak, posting a 1.60 ERA with their starters putting up a 2.14 mark. St. Louis yielded seven hits and two walks Tuesday, holding on for its third consecutive one-run win after Mark Reynolds' two-run single in the third inning.
Carlos Martinez (7-2, 2.93 ERA) will try to keep that going while earning his fourth victory in as many starts and fifth consecutive winning decision. The right-hander gave up two runs in 6 1/3 innings of last Wednesday's 4-2 win at Colorado.
Martinez, who has a 0.80 ERA in his past five starts, is making his second against an AL team. He lost 10-4 to Detroit on May 15 despite giving up two runs in five innings.
He'll face a Twins team that's been held to two runs or fewer eight times in 10 games. Minnesota (34-30) is batting .216 and has totaled 24 runs in that 2-8 stretch.
"It's a tough loss because we had our chances," manager Paul Molitor said Tuesday. "We couldn't get the big hit when we needed it."
Tommy Milone (2-1, 4.15) got two runs of support in seven innings Friday in his second start since being recalled from the minors and did not get a decision in a 6-2 loss at Texas. The left-hander gave up two runs and three hits while striking out eight.
Milone won 7-5 in his only start against the Cardinals on June 30, 2013, while with Oakland despite allowing five runs in six innings.
Twins prospect Byron Buxton will make his home debut after going 2 for 10 in his first three major league games.