ST. LOUIS -- Jose Martinez turned a spot start into a career day, driving in all of the Cardinals' runs in a 3-2 victory that allowed St. Louis to split its four-game series against the D-backs at Busch Stadium. With the win, the Cardinals sealed their first winning month of
ST. LOUIS -- Jose Martinez turned a spot start into a career day, driving in all of the Cardinals' runs in a 3-2 victory that allowed St. Louis to split its four-game series against the D-backs at Busch Stadium. With the win, the Cardinals sealed their first winning month of the season (14-12) and held their spot 4 1/2 games back of the Cubs in the National League Central.
Martinez tied the game with a two-run blast in the fourth before pushing the Cardinals ahead with a sixth-inning sacrifice fly. The three RBIs tied a career high and followed a three-day span in which the Cardinals scored just two runs.
"It's great to do a little bit of something to help the team win," said Martinez, who secured his first multihit game since July 5. "For me, that's what I'm trying to do. Trying to do whatever it is to get a better situation for the team, and it happened to me today."
All three runs on Sunday were charged to D-backs starter Taijuan Walker, who struck out 10 over 5 2/3 innings.
"I think he was changing speeds on his fastball, and he's just got a great finish and a great feel for that," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said of Walker. "A couple of mistakes to the same guy, and he made him pay for it. You've got to give their offense some credit. They built a little bit of an inning and a long ball tied the game and a sac fly won the game."
The support made a winner of Lance Lynn, who took the mound on Sunday amid rumors that he may be dealt before Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline. Lynn helped the D-backs to two runs during a second inning in which he walked four batters. Daniel Descalso, who finished an at-bat for Chris Owings after Owings broke the middle finger on his right hand on a bunt attempt, drew a bases-loaded walk in the frame.
Lynn went on to finish six innings and completed July with a 1.47 ERA in six starts.
"There are certain pitchers that figure out ways to get it done, even when they don't necessarily have their best stuff," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "I think that inning, Lance getting up against the wall, it's amazing that he threw that many pitches -- almost 40 -- and limited it to two runs. That's almost unheard of."
• Lynn gets 70th W in last start before Deadline
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Walk this way: The D-backs turned four walks into a pair of second-inning runs, but they also missed a chance to potentially knock Lynn from the game. With Tyler Lyons warming in the 'pen and Lynn's pitch count nearing 40 for the inning, Jake Lamb popped out in foul territory to end the frame with the bases loaded. Arizona did not advance another runner as far as third the rest of the afternoon and finished 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
"We felt like we had the right guys in the right situation," Lovullo said. "We were a swing away from breaking that game open from time to time, and that's the beauty of this game. It can be so gratifying one day and so heartbreaking the next. They're going to keep fighting through those moments."
Lead change: Walker faced little resistance from the Cardinals' offense until the fourth. After Yadier Molina singled to pull him into a 12th-place tie on the Cardinals' all-time hits list with Willie McGee (1,683), Martinez lined a 2-1 cutter over the wall in right. The homer, which had a 103.3-mph exit velocity, was Martinez's second of this homestand. Walker entered the day ranked ninth among NL starting pitchers with 0.87 home runs allowed per nine innings.
"It's a tough role to be consistent in," Matheny said, referring to Martinez's place as the team's fourth outfielder. "He went through a little lull there where the bat speed looked like he hadn't had those live opportunities often enough. And then something clicked and he turned the corner. He's in a good routine, and that was our offense today."
"Yeah. I told you all along, I'm not getting traded." -- Lynn, when asked if he expected to make his next start for the Cardinals
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Cardinals reliever Matt Bowman made his 53rd appearance of the season, most among all Major League pitchers. Bowman is on pace to pitch in 82 games, which would set a franchise record for a right-handed pitcher.
Owings left the game in the second inning after he was hit on the right hand while attempting to bunt a Lynn pitch. X-rays showed a fracture of his middle finger, and he left the team to fly back to Phoenix to see a hand specialist.
• Owings returns to Arizona with broken finger
D-backs: After having Monday off, the D-backs open a three-game series with the Cubs on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field. Patrick Corbin will get the start in the 5:05 p.m. MST matchup, which is the beginning of a stretch in which the D-backs will play the Cubs six times in 13 days.
Cardinals: After an off-day on Monday, the Cardinals will open a crucial three-game series against division-rival Milwaukee at Miller Park on Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. CT, and ace Carlos Martinez will draw the start against Jimmy Nelson.
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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, and Facebook.
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.