D-backs go on offensive, win opener vs. Cards

May 21st, 2016

ST. LOUIS -- Behind a strong 6 1/3-inning start from Patrick Corbin, RBI hits from seven players and a late seven-run outburst, the D-backs opened a six-game road trip by holding off St. Louis' ninth-inning surge to nab an 11-7 win at Busch Stadium on Friday.

Arizona jumped on Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez early with a two-run single by Chris Herrmann in a 30-pitch first inning. Martinez was then chased after allowing RBI hits to Jean Segura and Michael Bourn in the fifth.

"Really battled, battled all night," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "Obviously, so did they, and they kept coming and made us use a bunch of relievers, so you have to tip your cap to them. Very proud of the guys for coming out, first game of the road trip, and scoring a lot of runs."

It was the fourth straight loss for Martinez, who had rolled off four consecutive wins to open the season.

Cardinals rotation continues to struggle

"My command was a little bit off today," Martinez said through a translator. "I think it's a matter of finding a rhythm and control. But overall I feel mentally stable, and I try to keep a positive attitude."

Corbin sparked the scoring in the fifth inning with a leadoff single, his sixth hit of the season. From the mound he only allowed four. Matt Carpenter doubled and scored to open the bottom of the first, but Corbin kept the Cardinals from advancing anyone else as far as third until the seventh, when consecutive leadoff walks led to a run. The victory snapped a string of five winless starts for the lefty, who had been knocked around for seven runs in a start against the Cardinals last month.

The D-backs piled on against reliever Jonathan Broxton in the eighth, scoring five times off the right-hander, who retired just one of the six batters he faced. The five runs allowed by Broxton matched the total scored off him in his first 16 appearances of the season.

Those runs mattered, too, once the Cardinals made a strong push in the bottom of the ninth. Down by nine, they sent 10 batters to the plate and had the potential tying run in the on-deck circle before a deep flyout by Carpenter ended the game. The Cardinals scored five runs (two earned) in the frame.

"Real proud of how the guys were relentless in their at-bats," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "I think that's a habit. Right down to the end, I thought they continued to put together a good approach at the plate."


Herrmann starts 'em up: Herrmann has driven in 13 runs over his last 11 games and has hit safely in 11 consecutive starts. With Saturday's game an afternoon start, D-backs manager Chip Hale said that Herrmann was either going to start behind the plate on Friday or Saturday, and with Martinez's splits favoring left-handers, Hale decided Friday would be the game.

"I think that's been the most important thing for me -- just to get out there and get some consistent playing time," Herrmann said. More >

Dead end: After falling behind, 2-0, in the top of the first, the Cardinals had a chance to erase that deficit in the bottom half of the frame. They got only one of those runs back, however, as Jedd Gyorko's inning-ending groundout stranded two on base. Gyorko had drawn the start over Kolten Wong because of his past success (3-for-9) against Corbin. He went hitless until the ninth, and the Cardinals played from behind the rest of the game,

Road success: Once again, wearing their gray road uniforms brought out the best in the D-backs, as this win comes after a disappointing 2-5 homestand that dropped their record at Chase Field to 7-17. On the road, the D-backs are now 13-7.

"Not quite sure," Hale said when asked about the discrepancy. "That's a good question. I wouldn't say we're so good on the road, I'd say we've been poor at home. I think this is really how we should be playing, and we'll have to do that at home also."

Outfield robbery: Starting in place of an ailing Randal Grichuk, Cardinals center fielder Jeremy Hazelbaker saved Martinez from allowing two more runs in the first inning by making a diving catch on Brandon Drury's liner to left-center. Martinez waited on the field to thank Hazelbaker for the assist before heading into the dugout. Hazelbaker, however, later misplayed a single to compound Martinez's two-run fifth. His error was the team's Major League-leading 37th of the year.


When Matheny summoned lefty Dean Kiekhefer to relieve Broxton in the eighth, he intended to have Kiekhefer cover the ninth inning, as well. But those plans were foiled when the pitcher's spot came up in the bottom of the inning, leaving Matheny to pinch-hit for Kiekhefer and then turn to infielder Ruben Tejada to pitch.

Tejada, who had no pitching experience on his pro resume, served up back-to-back home runs to Herrmann and Drury during his 19-pitch inning.

"He's told me he's got plenty of arm," Matheny said. "Unfortunately, I think he's almost too pitcher-like. Sometimes you can bring in a guy a little under the radar throwing lollipops up there. Their hitters were having to really concentrate, because his arm was good enough. It cost him a couple home runs, but it was a great job of him stepping in for us."


D-backs:Robbie Ray will get the start on Saturday afternoon when the D-backs take on the Cardinals in the second game of this three-game series. Ray had one of his best outings of the year his last time out, against the Yankees, when he allowed just two runs on six hits over seven innings.

Cardinals: After winning a pair of starts on the team's last road trip, Mike Leake will take the mound on Saturday in search of his first home win of the year. He allowed two runs over 14 innings in his two recent victories.

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