ST. LOUIS (AP) — Chilly weather at Busch Stadium, hot bat for Jose Martinez.
In the coldest home start in Cardinals’ history, Martinez homered and drove in four runs as St. Louis ended the Arizona Diamondbacks’ four-game winning streak with a 5-3 victory on Saturday.
It was 37 degrees at gametime with a wind chill of 29. The previous recorded low in St. Louis was 38 degrees for the first pitch on April 16, 1961, against Cincinnati.
“When you start thinking about the weather and stuff, you got to go through it,” Martinez said. “You’ve got a game to play. You’ve got to go out there and work and you’ve got to do everything for your team to win.”
Martinez had a three-run homer and also singled in a run. His .357 average and eight RBIs are team highs.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” he said. “For me, I’m just going to go out there and try to help the team win. Whether it’s a play at first, running the bases or getting a big hit, whatever I’m capable to do I’m going to try and do it for the team.”
Michael Wacha (1-1) outpitched Zack Greinke (0-1) despite matching a career high with five walks in the chilly weather. Four of Wacha’s passes came in the first two innings.
Wacha called it a grind.
“It’s a little different than a hot weather game just with the hands getting a little cold,” Wacha said. “Just really don’t have that good of a feel on the baseball when I gets a little slick out there, but it wasn’t anything too crazy.”
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said there is no universal tip on beating the cold.
“Everybody has their own routine,” Matheny said. “Everybody has their own routine in the heat to not have the ball so wet from sweat and the same on cold days. You’re using the wisdom of the guys who have been around.”
Both starters went five innings. Dominic Leone and Matt Bowman each pitched a perfect inning of relief for the Cardinals and Jordan Hicks gave up an unearned run in the eighth. Bud Norris struck out the side to earn his first save of the season.
Martinez’s three-run homer capped a four-run third as the Cardinals took a 5-2 lead. Matt Carpenter drove in the other run with a sacrifice fly.
“I thought it was going to hit the concourse and it barely got over the wall,” Matheny said of the homer. “This cold weather I think you kind of anticipate the ball’s not going to carry quite as much, but he had to get all of it for the ball to get out of that part of the park today.”
Marcell Ozuna had three hits and Yadier Molina singled twice for St. Louis. Carpenter singled in the first and has reached safely in all eight of the Cardinals’ games this season.
A.J. Pollock’s single in the first gave Arizona an early lead. He doubled and scored on Chris Owings’ single in the third for a 2-1 lead.
“They grinded all game long pretty good,” Greinke said. “We did, too. It seemed like it was just the one really big play.”
Greinke retired eight straight after surrendering the home run.
“There was a number of base runners on and they capitalized on one swing so you have to give Martinez a little bit of credit,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “From Zack, I thought he battled through those early innings and he had some real easy innings kind of towards the back end of his outing, so I focus on that more than anything.”
Lovullo has 99 wins in his first 170 games and is trying to become the fastest active manager to 100 wins, which would eclipse Ron Gardenhire, who needed 173 games in 2002-2003 with Minnesota. Gardenhire now manages Detroit.
Diamondbacks: Claimed RHP Troy Scribner off of waivers from Anaheim and designated OF Jeremy Hazelbaker for assignment.
Cardinals: RHP Luke Gregerson (left hamstring strain) was assigned to Class A Palm Beach for a rehab assignment and is scheduled to pitch Saturday night.
Arizona RHP Taijuan Walker (0-0, 5.40 ERA) will face RHP Luke Weaver (1-0, 1.80 ERA) in the finale of a three-game set. A snow/rain mix is in the forecast.