St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Carlos Martinez tossed six solid innings of one-run ball and the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Cincinnati Reds 5-2 in the middle test of a three-game set.
Martinez (1-0), who threw just 86 pitches, scattered three hits and walked two while striking out four for the Cardinals, who have won six of their last seven games. Jason Heyward smacked a solo homer in the triumph.
"I tried to limit my pitches so I could last longer," Martinez said.
Trevor Rosenthal blanked the Reds in the ninth to record his fourth save of the season.
Homer Bailey's (0-1) 2015 debut didn't go as planned for the Reds. The flamethrower allowed five runs on nine hits and three walks over 5 2/3 frames. Bailey opened up the season on the disabled list after undergoing surgery back in September to repair the flexor mass tendon in his right elbow.
"Early on, I felt I made some pretty good pitches that got hit," Bailey said. "It does feel good to get back out there."
Cincy has dropped six of its last seven contests.
The Cardinals plated a run in the first, third and fourth innings to race out to a comfortable lead.
Matt Holliday hit a two-out double in the first and scored on a Matt Adams single through the hole on the right side.
Heyward cracked his solo shot into the bullpen in right-center with two outs in the third and Yadier Molina's one-out double in the fourth made it 3-0.
Cincinnati answered back in the fifth on Zack Cozart's leadoff blast to left, but the Cardinals pushed across two more runs in the sixth.
Molina and Jon Jay began the sixth with base hits and Matt Carpenter brought them both home three batters later with a two-bagger to right-center.
Brandon Phillips' RBI base hit in the eighth cut the deficit to 5-2.
The Cardinals were 12-7 versus the Reds last season ... Bailey went 9-5 with a 3.71 earned run average in 23 starts last season. He came into Saturday's game 6-10 with a 4.98 ERA in 20 career meetings against the Cardinals.