ST. LOUIS -- J.D. Martinez had already taken one swing to try to inflict as much damage as possible on Luke Weaver, but with a 1-2 count and the bases loaded in the D-backs' fourth, he was just looking to put the ball in play.And he wound up doing some
ST. LOUIS -- J.D. Martinez had already taken one swing to try to inflict as much damage as possible on Luke Weaver, but with a 1-2 count and the bases loaded in the D-backs' fourth, he was just looking to put the ball in play.
And he wound up doing some serious damage.
Grand slams mean 40% off pizza
Martinez lifted a fly ball down the line in right that stayed inside the foul pole for a grand slam as the D-backs beat the Cardinals, 4-0, on Thursday night at Busch Stadium.
With the win, the D-backs expanded their lead for the top National League Wild Card spot to 1 1/2 games over the Rockies and six over the Brewers.
"I took my one swing to really hurt him, but then after that I was just like, 'All right, get the run in,'" said Martinez, who has four career slams.
After going hitless in his first five at-bats for the D-backs following his trade from the Tigers, Martinez has shown why Arizona made him its top non-waiver Trade Deadline target.
The homer was his fifth hit since joining the D-backs, four of which have been homers.
"I try to just relax and just play my game," Martinez said. "Sometimes I still feel like I get caught up in the moment and trying to do well and all that, but I'm trying to just stick with what works, stick to my routine, stick to my studies and everything I do to get ready for a game. That's what I'm trying to focus on."
Martinez had not played in the NL since 2012, so he faces a learning curve each night when it comes to opposing pitchers.
Luckily for Martinez, Arizona's lineup is filled with hitters who like to share information.
"I think this is a good team that's hungry -- hungry for information and success," Martinez said. "They're constantly looking for it, asking questions, stuff like that. That's great. Everyone shares info and the more info that everybody has, the better it is. [A.J. Pollock] came in after his first at-bat and he was already relaying info. He could have been [upset] about his strikeout, but he was like, 'He's got this. His ball is doing this and that.'"
Martinez's homer was set up by Pollock, who led off the inning with a double and back-to-back walks by Jake Lamb and Paul Goldschmidt.
Lamb saw seven pitches and Goldschmidt six in making Weaver work hard before Martinez walked to the plate.
"I think J.D. had a couple of strikes on him and it's a really impressive approach when hitting the ball that far with two strikes," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said.
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.