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some extra energy as he tried to make many plays in the field

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#1 elvafeng



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Отправлено 08 Август 2017 - 06:48

The ascent never should have taken this long, but the Cardinals ended an almost incomprehensible stretch of 65 consecutive days under .500 when they climbed to that modest plateau Monday night with an 11 3 interleague win over the Kansas City Royals.

“Is that how long it’s been?” asked Matt Carpenter.

On their sixth try since July 18 at attaining a break even record, the Cardinals rolled out their second big inning in two days. After the Cardinals had tallied nine runs in the fourth inning Sunday at Cincinnati, Carpenter’s three run homer, his first home run since June 24, capped a six run fourth inning Monday night before a spirited, bipartisan, sellout crowd of 38,478 at Kauffman Stadium.

Carlos Martinez, who had given up 11 runs in the first innings of his previous six starts, didn’t allow a run in the first this time. Over eight innings, he walked no one as he permitted only two solo home runs, moving to one game under .500 himself at 8 9. Not really a blue hair anymore http://www.cardinals...jersey-c-5.html, he featured almost silver colored locks as the blue gradually has washed away. By postscript, he said he had not decided what color hair he will sport the next time he pitches.

“But I’m really trying to concentrate more on my pitching than on my hair,” he said, through his translator, Alexandra Noboa.

Pitching coach Derek Lilliquist said Martinez’s warmup session had concentrated more on fastball command. The results were that for the first time since June 27 Martinez didn’t allow a run in the first inning, and for the first time since the first game of the season, he didn’t walk anybody after passing five in his five inning start last week in Milwaukee.

The Cardinals now are 56 56, the first time they have been dead even since June 2, when they were 26 26. “I haven’t been counting,” said manager Mike Matheny. “Nice of you to keep track.

“I get it, but we keep talking about it. We’re not necessarily focused on anything but playing better baseball. Better baseball usually turns into wins and ... help s you chase people down. And we’ve got people to chase.”

Employing the National Football League philosophy of “taking what the defense gives you,” the Cardinals were more than happy to accept the first three runs the Royals allowed them to score in the fourth inning, courtesy of two errors and two walks.

Then the Royals gave Carpenter, who has Albert Pujols type numbers at Kauffman Stadium, a chance to beat them.

Carpenter, hitting .451 there for his career, capitalized on being allowed to bat with first base open and launched his 15th homer of the season off Ian Kennedy, who remained winless for a 14th consecutive home start.

Kolten Wong, who tied a career high with four RBIs, hit his first homer since April 17 second of the season when he connected on a two run shot off lefthander Ryan Buchter in the eighth inning. Paul DeJong also belted a two run homer, his 16th, off Buchter in the ninth.

If you’re counting, that’s 24 runs in the last two games after the Cardinals had totaled 21 in the previous nine. “For an offense that’s been struggling to figure out who we are and what we’re capable of, this is the kind of momentum you want to get on.” Carpenter said.

Fowler, who tripled on the first pitch he saw in the second inning after coming off the disabled list, said, “It looked good. Little sense of urgency.”

DeJong, homering for the second day in succession, was getting his first look at the Royals and this rivalry and said he enjoyed the crowd but he added, “ The Royals were coming off a doubleheader. A little tired today, do you think?”

The Cardinals started the pivotal fourth with a single by Jose Martinez, who hit .384 for the Royals’ Omaha farm club two years ago but never got that call up to play for the Royals.

“Everything happens for a reason,” said J. Martinez. “I think they had a reason. But it was a tough month when I got the notice that I wasn’t going to be called up.”

Yadier Molina, a .323 batsman at Kauffman, doubled to left and Fowler walked to load the bases with nobody out.

Wong hit a double play grounder to shortstop Alcides Escobar, who fumbled the ball as he was about to shovel to second and all runners were safe, with J. Martinez scoring. “Luckily, he didn’t field it cleanly,” said Wong.

Greg Garcia walked for the fifth time in the last two days, forcing in a second run. The Royals had committed just 43 errors, lowest in baseball, but they made their second in the inning when catcher Drew Butera tried to pick off Fowler at third but hit him in the rump with his throw and Fowler trotted home. Carpenter then gave the Cardinals a 7 1 lead.

“I was saying a couple of days ago that we just need that one big hit http://www.cardinals...jersey-c-6.html,” said Wong. “Unfortunately, I think my hit to the head he was hit by a pitch off his helmet’s chin guard Saturday was the hit that we needed. The guys kind of responded around that.”

After the Royals had scored once in the fourth and had two runners on http://www.cardinals...jersey-c-7.html, Martinez whiffed former Cardinal Brandon Moss, who struck out for the 90th time in 247 at bats. “He threw me a 3 2 slider and I almost fell down,” said Moss, who later hit a homer off Sam Tuivailala. “That would have been embarrassing to fall down.”

Lilliquist said, “ Martinez was pretty darned good today.”

Martinez didn’t allow a hit with men in scoring position and is holding opponents to .180 in that category for the season.

Martinez said he missed batting in an interleague game and perhaps he had some extra energy as he tried to make many plays in the field on Monday. But he had one go off his glove, another off his rear, when he tried to reach for a ball between his legs and still another ball that he couldn’t get a glove on that went almost to third base.

“Tomorrow I’m going to work on that,” he said, jokingly.

Although Martinez has some gaudy strikeout numbers and low opponents’ batting averages, he realizes he hasn’t been what he needed to be yet this season.

“I could have done better in different games,” he said. “But we’ve been working throughout the whole season to be at .500. We’re finally here and I hope I can continue to have games like I had today.”

That he pitched so well Monday also had to do with something not found in the standings. One of his friends, Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura, had died in an offseason car accident in the Dominican Republic, a fate much like Cardinals teammate and close friend Oscar Tavares suffered after the 2014 season.

When asked about Ventura on Monday, Martinez said Jedd Gyorko Jersey, “I have few words because it’s just really difficult. But he was on my mind constantly today, throwing every pitch. And today was dedicated to him.”

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