St. Louis Car­di­nals

USA TODAY Sports Weekly - - NL CENTRAL -

Car­los Martinez

his ace form.

The right-han­der won his third con­sec­u­tive start by al­low­ing one run on six hits in seven in­nings to de­feat the Giants on July 7 at San Fran­cisco. He has given up five runs in 19 in­nings (2.37 ERA) dur­ing his win­ning streak.

Martinez was 3-2 with a 1.62 ERA in his first eight starts this sea­son be­fore a strained right lat put him on the dis­abled list May 9. He re­turned June 5 and had an 0-2 record and 8.10 ERA in his first four starts be­fore go­ing on the win­ning streak.

“Right now, my arm is great, so I don’t have any pain in there,” Martinez said. “The last (three) out­ings I’ve had re­ally good fo­cus and I’m com­fort­able with my­self.”

❚ Short­stop re­turned from the DL on July 6 af­ter miss­ing seven weeks be­cause of a bro­ken left hand. He went 3-for-11 and scored four runs in his first three games.

Paul DeJong

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