For a moment on Monday night, it looked like St. Louis Cardinals
right fielder Dexter Fowler had followed his early Monday morning
walk-off homer against the Chicago Cubs with another bomb in his
first at-bat against the Minnesota Twins.
But left fielder Eddie Rosario stuck his glove just above the wall
in left-center field and brought it back. That was pretty much it
for the St. Louis offense, which managed only four hits in a 6-0
loss that snapped its five-game winning streak.
The Cardinals will try to salvage a split of the series in the
finale of their seven-game homestand Tuesday at Busch Stadium in
“That was probably the best ball Dex has hit the other way all
season,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “It was probably a
2-2 game if (Rosario) doesn’t get to that ball. It took some wind
out of our sails.”
Whether it was a letdown from an emotional sweep of Chicago or the
fact that Minnesota rookie Fernando Romero simply overpowered St.
Louis for the first six innings, the Cardinals looked flatter than
a day-old fritter.
Regardless, St. Louis would appear to have a good chance to bounce
back while sending ace Carlos Martinez (3-1, 1.40 ERA) to the
mound. Martinez has ceded precisely three runs in his last six
starts, looking like a Cy Young Award candidate since struggling on
Opening Day at the New York Mets.
In Martinez’s last outing on Wednesday, he sailed through 7 1/3
innings against the Chicago White Sox, allowing five hits and a run
with two walks and five strikeouts in a 3-2 win.
Martinez even helped himself with the bat, clouting his first big
league homer in the sixth inning to snap a scoreless tie.
“I never hit a home run in my life,” Martinez told mlb.com. “I was
waiting for it.”
It was no cheapie. Martinez drilled a Lucas Giolito pitch 407 feet
into the seats in left-center field, traditionally an area of Busch
where the ball doesn’t carry well. Martinez followed with a
slow-motion home run trot that probably evoked tears of admiration
from the likes of Yoenis Cespedes and David Ortiz.
In the job he’s paid to do, Martinez has been almost peerless. He
has been able to craft instead of throw, mixing speeds like a true
pitcher and getting quicker outs by relying more on a two-seam
“We’ve seen seven starts at that next tier,” Matheny said to
mlb.com after Martinez beat the White Sox. “That’s consistently the
type of stuff and execution that puts you on a different level.”
Jake Odorizzi (2-2, 4.10) gets the call for the Twins in a
homecoming of sorts. Odorizzi hails from Highland, Illinois, about
30 miles east of St. Louis, and figures to have a large following
in the ballpark. He is 1-1 with a 3.24 ERA in three career starts
against his hometown team.
Odorizzi was no-decisioned Thursday night at the White Sox, giving
up six hits and five runs (three earned) in 5 1/3 innings. He was
presented with an early 4-0 advantage and failed to make it stick.
“You’re supposed to keep the lead and I didn’t do my job,” Odorizzi
said to mlb.com.