By Steve Overbey, Associated Press
ST. LOUIS — Like a true power hitter, Carlos Martinez took a hefty cut and came up empty on the 92 mph fastball.
The St. Louis pitcher missed wildly on a 1-1 offering in the fourth inning of the Cardinals’ 10-5 victory over Colorado on Wednesday night.
Martinez slammed his bat to the ground in anger, drawing chuckles from his teammates in the dugout.
Undaunted, Martinez dug back in and three pitches later, slammed a run-scoring single to right to tie the game 4-all.
The hit kick-started a five-run inning that turned a two-run deficit into a 7-4 lead.
“I was mad, I thought it was a pitch I should hit,” Martinez said.
The always-intense Martinez helped lead a balanced 15-hit attack.
Rookie Paul DeJong continued his hot hitting with a two-run homer in the first inning. It was his eighth of the month and set a franchise record for a rookie in July. His 14th homer of the season, in just 49 games, ties him for the team lead with Matt Carpenter, Tommy Pham and Jedd Gyorko.
Randal Grichuk went 4 for 5 with successive singles in his final four at-bats. Rookie Harrison Bader, in his second major league start, added three hits.
“It’s exciting to watch when the guys get into a good rhythm,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. “We just had everything we’re looking for. Putting up double-digit (runs) makes everything look good.”
DeJong has driven in at least one run in his last six games, the longest string by a St. Louis rookie since Albert Pujols had an eight-game streak in 2001.
“Today we showed a lot of fight,” DeJong said. “The offense scored a lot of runs and everyone contributed. I was just happy to get it going in the first inning.”
Martinez (7-8) struck out eight and gave up five runs and seven hits in six innings for his first win since June 16.
His high-level display of intensity at the plate did not surprise Matheny.
“He just comes out some days really fired up,” Matheny said. “We don’t want to take the passion out of him. That’s part of what makes him so good.”
Nolan Arenado hit his 23rd homer for the Rockies who are 18-34 in St. Louis since the start of the 2010 season.
“We didn’t pitch well,” Colorado manager Bud Black said, “When your starter only goes four innings and gives up a lot of runs, it makes it tough.”
Jeff Hoffman (6-3) allowed seven hits and six earned runs in a four-inning stint.
Gerado Parra gave the Rockies a 4-2 lead with a two-run double in the third.
St. Louis took the lead for good at 6-4 on a two-run double by Carpenter in the fourth.
Yadier Molina added a two-run double in the sixth to push the lead to 9-5.
The Rockies announced after the game that they have acquired right-handed pitcher Pat Neshek from Philadelphia for minor league pitchers J.D. Hammer, Alejandro Requena and infielder Jose Gomez.
“He’s having a good year,” Arenado said. “He’s a veteran. He’ll be a great addition to our bullpen.”
Neskek is looking forward to his environs.
“It’s exciting, jump right into a playoff race,” Neshek said. “It’s a great team with a great offense.”