Carlos Martinez struggles as Cardinals tie with Twins


Carlos Martinez did himself no favors as the St. Louis Cardinals ended their Sunday afternoon game tied 6-6 with the Minnesota Twins.

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A candidate for the starting rotation, the Dominican Republic native pitched 3.1 innings and was pulled after he allowed a two-run double. He allowed five runs on four hits, walking one and striking out two. Martinez allowed a two-run homer in the third inning to second baseman Brian Dozier. Martinez ended the game with a 6.75 ERA with most of the damage coming in the third and fourth innings.

While Marco Gonzales and Jaime Garcia are clearly enjoying a better spring than Martinez, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny is keeping an open mind as he goes about evaluating the candidates for the final spot of the pitching rotation.

“Carlos also had two extremely impressive outings, and this one wasn’t as bad as it looked,” Matheny said according to’s Andrew Simon. “The door’s open. It’s just competition. We’re truly trying to watch with an open mind to see what looks the best. Obviously we have a lot of games left, a long way to go to get everybody there.”

Matheny isn’t afraid to give up on the pitcher.

“I think he believes in himself, sees himself as a big league starter and can’t wait for every opportunity to go out there and show everybody and make it real obvious,” Matheny said according to Simon. “He does have a day where he had a couple things slip away, I know he wears it pretty hard. He’s going to come back with a vengeance. That’s just what he does. He’s a competitor.”

Outfielder Randal Grichuk went 1-for-3, scoring a run and driving in two runs. Cody Stanley replaced Tony Cruz at catcher and hit a solo home run in the seventh inning. Pete Kozma started the game at short stop and ended up with a 3-for-4 day at the plate, scoring once.

Former Cardinals outfielder Shane Robinson was a late-inning replacement for the Twins.

John Lackey will take the mound on Monday against David Price when the Cardinals host the Detroit Tigers at Roger Dean Stadium. It will mark Lackey’s spring debut with the Cardinals.

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