Martinez dominates over 7 innings, Cardinals beat Astros 8-2
HOUSTON (AP) — Carlos Martinez took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, Jeremy Hazelbaker and Brandon Moss hit home runs and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Houston Astros 8-2 on Wednesday.
The Cardinals have won four straight and have a slim hold on the second NL wild-card spot over the Pirates and Marlins.
Martinez (11-7) pitched seven innings of three-hit ball, allowing a run while striking out seven. He retired 15 of the first 16 batters before giving up a leadoff double to Teoscar Hernandez in the sixth. Martinez leads St. Louis pitchers with 11 starts of seven or more innings.
Martinez had allowed 14 runs over his previous three starts.
St. Louis is averaging 7.5 runs per game during this winning streak and began its offensive frenzy Wednesday in the third inning against starter Doug Fister.
Eight Cardinals batted in the three-run third, highlighted by Stephen Piscotty’s two-run single and Yadier Molina’s RBI double.
Hazelbaker bashed a 3-2 pitch from Fister in the fourth for his first home run since July 29. Moss blew it open in the seventh with a three-run homer off Tony Sipp.
St. Louis has 49 home runs since the All-Star break to lead the National League.
Fister (11-8) gave up four runs, seven hits and a walk while striking three in four innings.
Fister has allowed four or more runs five times in his past 10 starts after reaching that mark once in his first 14 outings this season.
Alex Bregman drove in Hernandez with a single in the sixth. The rookie has seven RBIs in the last 11 games and is batting .312 in that time.
Houston has been outscored 29-11 during a four-game losing streak and surrendered eight or more runs in three straight games for the first time this season.
Cardinals: RHP Adam Wainwright (9-7, 4.72 ERA) starts against Philadelphia on Friday. Wainwright is looking for his eighth season with 10 or more wins and needs four to tie Dizzy Dean (134) on the Cardinals career list.
Astros: RHP Joe Musgrove (1-0, 1.47 ERA) starts against Baltimore on Thursday after getting his first major league win against Toronto on Friday.