Stanton hits 1st HR, but Marlins fall to Cards

Stanton hits 1st HR, but Marlins fall to Cards

JUPITER, Fla. -- Giancarlo Stanton blasted his first home run of the spring, but behind five scoreless innings from starter Carlos Martinez and a three-run seventh inning, the Cardinals snapped an eight-game winless streak with a 4-1 victory over the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium on Wednesday.

The victory was the Cards' first since March 12. Since then, they had lost six games and tied in another two.

"I didn't know the exact number," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of his team's skid. "It seemed like it had been a long time since we've slapped high-fives after a game, though, so it was nice."

Stanton, who entered the day 3-for-14 in Grapefruit League play, took Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal deep to tie the game at 1 in the seventh. The blast, which Matheny described as "freakish," is a good sign a week before the Marlins leaves Jupiter.

Martinez fans five in outing

"He just needs at-bats," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "I think you see him having better swings. It's just a matter of at-bats."

The Cardinals answered in the bottom half of the frame with RBI doubles from David Washington and Brandon Moss. Of the seven batters Marlins reliever Dustin McGowan faced in the inning, five reached.

Martinez, who lines up to be St. Louis' fifth starter, showcased a strong changeup while throwing 45 of 68 pitches for strikes in his longest spring outing. He struck out five and never allowed a Miami runner to reach second.

Rojas barehands ball for out

"I was very focused," Martinez said through a translator. "That was my main goal today, and it worked pretty good for me. I really felt like I kept myself under control and I kept my focus. It was a great outing for me."

Marlins starter Tom Koehler wasn't as efficient, yet he was also effective over five innings. Koehler, who threw 91 pitches (55 strikes), scattered five hits and one run while striking out three. Shortstop Ruben Tejada, who joined the Cardinals on Sunday, collected his first RBI with a one-out double off Koehler in the second.

Koehler got through five innings on 91 pitches, and after his outing, he threw about nine more in the bullpen.

"I would have liked to have done it a little more economically, that's for sure," Koehler said. "I went out there, battled through, and kept our team in it. That's what you want to kind of start seeing at this point. I've been working hard, trying new things. I think we're really, really close to where we need to be."

Moss' two-run double

Cardinals Rule 5 Draft pick Matt Bowman continued to build his case for a roster spot with a 1-2-3 sixth. He has not been scored upon in either of his past two outings.

Up next for the Cardinals: Adam Wainwright will make his penultimate spring start Thursday when the Cardinals travel to Viera, Fla., to face the Nationals. First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 p.m. CT. Tyler Lyons, who is making a push for the final bullpen opening, is also slated to appear, along with Seung Hwan Oh and Jordan Walden.

Up next for the Marlins: It's not officially been announced, but Adam Conley basically has secured a rotation spot. The lefty is tracking toward being the No. 4 starter. But first, he has to get through Spring Training. Conley will face the Twins on Thursday at 1:05 p.m. ET. Lefty Tommy Milone will start for Minnesota. Miami outfielder Marcell Ozuna remains day to day with a sore right ankle.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.