Gritty Martinez, trio of HRs key Cards' win

Gritty Martinez, trio of HRs key Cards' win

ST. LOUIS -- Carlos Martinez's afternoon got off to a shaky start, but the Cardinals right-hander picked himself up -- quite literally -- and bounced back with seven strong innings in Game 1 of Wednesday's twin bill -- a 4-2 St. Louis victory at Busch Stadium.

In the top of the second, Martinez suffered a nosebleed and spent about 10 minutes on the grass behind the pitcher's mound while being tended to by team trainers. But he stayed in the game and allowed just one hit to the final 22 batters he faced.

"He kept his composure, being on base and losing a lot of blood," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "All in all, he did a good job keeping it together."

The only damage against Martinez was a two-run blast by Padres second baseman Ryan Schimpf in the top of the first. But St. Louis promptly responded with a trio of homers, including a go-ahead two-run shot by Jedd Gyorko, who continues to wreak havoc on his former team.

Gyorko's two-run homer

Matt Holliday and Yadier Molina also went deep against Padres starter Colin Rea, who allowed four runs on eight hits over six innings.

It was Rea's first start in two weeks, as the Padres used the All-Star break as an opportunity to limit the workload on the rookie right-hander. That may have had an adverse effect Wednesday afternoon, as Rea routinely missed his spots.

"That's not really an excuse to have the game I did today," Rea said. "I just didn't get the job done."

More than the lack of command, Rea's inability to put hitters away came back to bite him. His offspeed pitches weren't up to par on Wednesday, and all three home runs came against his curveball or his cutter.

"He made good pitches at times," said Padres manager Andy Green. "But he needs that finishing pitch to kind of take that next step in his evolution as a pitcher."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The streak lives: The Padres wasted no time extending their franchise-record homer streak to 17 games on Wednesday. Schimpf's first-inning blast marked his sixth during the stretch -- the most of any Padres hitter. San Diego is the first National League team to go deep in 17 straight since the Reds did so in May 2010.

"Obviously, the two-run homer was nice," Green said of Schimpf's impact since his June callup. "But he takes his walks, he gets on base. He's done a very nice job."

Home run happy: Gyorko, Holliday and Molina's homers allowed the Cardinals to extend their streak to 10 consecutive games with a home run. It was Gyorko's second home run in as many games against the Padres, and he's the first Cardinal since Rick Ankiel to homer in four straight games against San Diego. Holliday's blast put him in sole possession of 11th place on the Cardinals all-time home run list, breaking a tie with Ducky Medwick (153).

Holliday's solo smash

"We're going to continue to make sure guys can capitalize on pitches they can drive," Matheny said. "Whether or not it goes out of the park or not is sometimes out of their hands, but they're taking good swings and taking good passes at the ball."

Look what I found: Rea didn't so much as catch Gyorko's sixth-inning line drive as the ball caught him. Rea had barely finished his follow through, when the Cardinals third baseman hit a rocket that landed in Rea's glove while his head was turned. Nonetheless, Gyorko continued to rake against the Padres on Wednesday, as he's now 10-for-17 against them since being traded to St. Louis for Jon Jay.

Rea's quick glove

Bullpen perfect: Seung Hwan Oh picked up his third save of the season Wednesday, his first since July 3. He had appeared five times since then and took the loss in his last appearance. Kevin Siegrist also pitched a scoreless inning, his first since coming off the disabled list on July 15.

"Having that big breaking ball and then being able to throw it for a strike like [Siegrist] did, and then throw it for a chase?" Matheny said. "I still think that's a game changer for him."

Oh notches the save

QUOTABLE
"I'll find a place. Gyorko needs to play."-- Matheny when asked if Gyorko will be in the lineup in Game 2 of the doubleheader.

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
With Matt Kemp getting the afternoon off, Melvin Upton Jr. started in right field -- the first time in his 12-year career that he's done so. Upton has played primarily left this season, after spending eight seasons exclusively in center. Before that, he even spent some time playing second, third and short -- but never right. He recorded four putouts there on Wednesday.

WHAT'S NEXT
Padres: The Padres will call on Andrew Cashner for Friday's finale, coming off his best start of the season, in which he recorded a season-high nine strikeouts. First pitch is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. PT at Busch Stadium.

Cardinals: Adam Wainwright will start Friday's series finale at 6:15 p.m. CT. The righty is coming off a three-hit shutout of the Marlins on Saturday.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

Nick Krueger is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Louis. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.