Martinez bears down, extends scoreless run

Right-hander fans 8 in 7 innings for second straight shutout outing

Martinez bears down, extends scoreless run

ST. LOUIS -- Carlos Martinez began the month by allowing seven earned runs in back-to-back starts, the first of which was characterized by Cardinals' manager Mike Matheny as a "relapse" to Martinez's up-and-down 2014 season.

The 23-year-old right-hander is nearing the end of May with a vastly better trajectory, and he gave the credit for his seven shutout innings in the Cardinals' 3-2 win over Arizona at Busch Stadium on Memorial Day to injured ace Adam Wainwright.

"I listened to Wainwright," Martinez said through an interpreter after Monday's game. "He talked to me about getting focused on the game and the play."

There were plenty of situations that required Martinez's focus, but he navigated them coolly to notch his second straight scoreless outing.

The D-backs' leadoff batter reached base three times against Martinez, including the fifth inning when Martinez calmly countered back-to-back singles with three straight strikeouts against the bottom of the Arizona lineup.

"Carlos was real good," Matheny said. "Shame we couldn't get him a win for that. But to get through seven and be able to make some tough pitches when he had to, he had some of that consistency today."

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Martinez said he stuck to the game plan and tried to remain calm when runners reached. The result was his fourth eight-strikeout performance of the season and his second seven-inning outing. Three of his punchouts came from curveballs.

Matheny added there are still situations when Martinez is "jumpy." They're just less frequent than they have been.

"I think he's lessening those times to where he's coming back to center, which is where he needs to be to be successful," Matheny said. "It's just part of the process."

David Cobb is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.