MIAMI -- Carlos Martinez may have pitched only six innings on Monday night, but in a way, the hard-throwing right-hander turned in a complete game. Not in the technical sense of finishing on the mound, but he contributed two hits and drove in four runs in the Cardinals' 9-4 victory over the Marlins at Marlins Park.
On the mound, Martinez was pretty effective, striking out seven and allowing three runs on five hits. The real damage against him was Marcell Ozuna's two home runs, one a two-run blast and the other a solo shot.
Before Monday, Martinez was hitless in 11 at-bats this season. That changed with two outs in the second inning, when he laced a three-run double down the left-field line. Per Statcast™, the exit velocity on the two-base hit was 101.1 mph. In the fourth inning, Martinez added a run-scoring single.
Miami left-hander Adam Conley was tagged for seven runs on six hits with three walks and two strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings. The 26-year-old has had a rough time in his last three starts, posting a 15.19 ERA in that stretch -- 18 earned runs (21 total) in 10 2/3 innings.
"I have to be able to get him out there," Conley said of Martinez's three-run double. "Twice I threw him fastballs away. Looking back now, of course, in hindsight, it's probably the best shot he's got at hitting. So I've got to get in there on him or throw him a breaking ball or something different. I know he can swing it a little bit. He's a great athlete. The guy throws it 100. ... I just have to be better there. I have to be able to put that guy away."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Sierra's silent single looms loud:Magneuris Sierra, just promoted from Class A, went into Monday's game with just one MLB hit in six at-bats -- all in Sunday's game. The Cardinals' No. 7 prospect didn't look like he was about to make solid contact with two outs and two on in the second inning, as he missed badly on two Conley changeups. But with the count at 2-2, Sierra lined a single over the head of second baseman Dee Gordon. The hit loaded the bases and set up Martinez's three-run double to left. Sierra added a single and scored again in the fourth inning.
"He's just a kind of player that we believe puts pressure on the opposition with that kind of speed and athleticism," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. More >
Ozuna mashing: At a time the Marlins are struggling for victories, with three in their last 13 games, Ozuna continues to play at an All-Star level. The 26-year-old left fielder connected off Martinez for two home runs, a two-run shot in the fourth inning and a solo drive in the sixth. Ozuna now has 11 homers and 29 RBIs, both highs on the Marlins. According to Statcast™, the first home run projected at 433 feet with an exit velocity of 106 mph. The blast in the sixth traveled an estimated 378 feet, with a 101-mph exit speed.
"I told him when he came in, I think I liked the last at-bat as good as any of them," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Ozuna's hard lineout to right. "Once [they hit] a couple of homers, guys have a tendency to be a little wild. He shoots that ball to right field, it tells us he is staying within his approach. You love to see that, because that's how it keeps continuing. When you continue to have good at-bats, you can stay hot." More >
"Obviously, you don't want to get down to anyone, but [Martinez] is pretty good. That's good stuff. That's not a guy you're thinking you're going to [score] eight or 10 runs off of. You feel like you're going to have to win, 4-3, 5-4, something. You've got to give yourself a chance staying in the game, and be able to get him for a few, make him work and then get into a bullpen." -- Mattingly, on trailing by seven to Martinez
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Marlins committed two errors on Monday, giving them nine total in their last seven games. In their first 24 games, they made just six errors.
MATTINGLY'S EARLY EXIT
Mattingly's time in the dugout lasted two innings before he was ejected for arguing with home-plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt. After Derek Dietrich was called out on strikes, Mattingly had some choice words with Wendelstedt as the Marlins were warming up for the third inning. The exchange occurred near home plate, and crew chief Joe West joined in, trying to keep Mattingly away from Wendelstedt. It was the second time this season Mattingly has been ejected. Bench coach Tim Wallach took over as manager.
"It's just not worth talking about," Mattingly said. "It's just never a winning situation for me or our team, really. It's not even worth going into."
Not much went the Marlins' way on Monday, and a close replay ruling in the fourth inning also went against them. With two outs and Justin Bour on first, Dietrich singled to right, sending Bour to third. Dietrich attempted to take second on the play but was thrown out on Kolten Wong's relay to Aledmys Diaz. The Marlins challenged, and after a review of two minutes and 36 seconds, the call stood, ending the inning.
WHAT'S NEXT Cardinals: Right-hander Adam Wainwright takes the mound on Tuesday in the middle game of a three-game series with Miami at Marlins Park. He takes a two-game win streak into the 6:10 p.m. CT start.
Marlins: With the Reds last year, Dan Straily saw the Cardinals plenty of times, going 1-0 with a 3.05 ERA in four games (three starts) against them. Now with the Marlins, Straily gets the nod on Tuesday in the second of three with the Cardinals at Marlins Park. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.