Reds take series against Cardinals with 8-0 win

The 24-year-old top prospect struck out four batters while throwing 50 out of 78 pitches for strikes.

The 6-foot-5 Garrett, a four-star basketball recruit out of high school who played two years at St. John's before switching to baseball, looked poised throughout his outing.

Michael Wacha, who won his last five decisions past year before he was forced aside with the recurrence of a shoulder problem, appeared to have picked up that pace through three innings Saturday. In his first start, Martinez logged a no-decision with 7.1 innings, six hits and no earned against the Cubs.

Scott Schebler hit an RBI double off Brett Cecil, and a second run scored when right fielder Randal Grichuk fumbled the ball for an error as he tried to throw.

Matt Bowman had a flawless seventh for the Cardinals but Jonathan Broxton gave up a two-run homer to Scott Schebler in the eighth.

The Cardinals scored twice in the first inning with Diaz's first homer of the season and a bloop double down the right-field line from catcher Yadier Molina. Eugenio Suarez hit a smash off his left forearm but Wacha scrambled after the loose ball and threw strongly to first to get Suarez for the second out. Jason Castro's two-run homer in the sixth was his first of the season and briefly pulled Minnesota to within 3-2.

"We made a few hard outs, but for the most part we just couldn't get any a good feel against (Garrett)".




Diaz, enjoying the first multi-homer game of his career, had four runs batted in for the day and Jedd Gyorko had two as the Cardinals unwrapped an offense that had been scoreless for the last 13 innings before Saturday. He made the Reds' rotation after pitching 7 2/3 innings while allowing four runs and striking out six this spring, although the team waited to place him on their roster so that he could pitch a minor-league start last week.

Zimmermann (1-0) labored early but allowed only one run and four hits.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said his team needs to find some consistency. The speedster improved to 24 for 26 in stolen base attempts for his career against Molina, the most by any baserunner off the eight-time Gold Glove victor.

"He's got a good fastball", Duvall said about Martinez.

Reds: C Devin Mesoraco (right hip) caught six innings for Double-A Pensacola on Thursday. Diaz lined a solo shot in the first off losing pitcher Bronson Arroyo (0-1) and then touched Arroyo for a three-run blast in the fourth to give St. Louis a 6-1 lead.

The St. Louis Cardinals figured it was only a matter of time before someone lit the match on the figurative stick of dynamite their offense appeared to be in the preseason. He smacked his first career grand slam in the sixth, momentarily giving the Giants a 5-4 edge.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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