Carlos Martinez dominated the Milwaukee Brewers in late August, and the St. Louis Cardinals could use another strong outing from the right-hander when they host their division rivals on Friday.
Martinez recorded a career-best 13 strikeouts while allowing one run and four hits in six innings in a no-decision against Milwaukee on Aug. 29.Martinez has put together four straight solid efforts, going 3-0 with a 1.67 ERA during that stretch.
He will be looking to help the Cardinals halt a two-game skid that has dropped them one-half game behind the New York Mets for the National League's second wild-card spot.
The Brewers racked up 17 hits - including three homers - while rolling to a 12-5 victory in the opener of the four-game series - their seven triumph in eight games. Hernan Perez matched his career high of four hits established earlier this week and recorded three RBIs while Domingo Santana, Orlando Arcia and Martin Maldonado hit the home runs.
TV: 8:15 p.m. ET, FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee), FSN Midwest (St. Louis)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Brewers RH Jimmy Nelson (7-13, 4.36 ERA) vs. Cardinals RH Carlos Martinez (13-7, 3.07)
Nelson continuously struggles against St. Louis as he is 0-6 with a 7.57 ERA in eight career meetings (seven starts). He has pitched better against the Cardinals this season, going 0-1 with a 3.75 ERA in two outings. Matt Carpenter (6-for-13, one homer), Jhonny Peralta (5-for-13) and Stephen Piscotty (4-for-9) have fared well against Nelson.
Martinez defeated Cincinnati in his last outing as he gave up two runs and seven hits in six innings. He was brilliant in his last home start, limiting New York to one run and four hits over eight frames on Aug. 24, but is just 5-6 with a 3.83 ERA in 13 turns at Busch Stadium. Martinez is 3-1 with a 1.20 ERA in 18 career games (seven starts) against Milwaukee.
1. Cardinals 2B Kolten Wong is 9-for-22 with three homers during his six-game hitting streak after having gone deep just twice all season prior to the recent surge.2. Arcia is 10-for-21 with four RBIs over his last six contests.3. St. Louis 1B/OF Brandon Moss is 1-for-30 over his last nine games after recording a single in the series opener.
PREDICTION: Cardinals 5, Brewers 1