MIAMI (AP) — Carlos Martinez pulled into second base and began gesturing to his dugout. He swung his clasped hands triumphantly from ear to ear, made a chest-high flapping motion with both hands and raised his arms to the sky, a pitcher celebrating his own slugging.
The St. Louis ace hit a three-run double for his first hit of the year and later added an RBI single, more than compensating for the two homers he allowed to Marcell Ozuna and leading the Cardinals over the Miami Marlins 9-4 Monday for their season-best fourth consecutive win.
The Cardinals totaled 10 hits, and Martinez's double was the biggest blow. He had been 0 for 11 this year.
"My teammates had confidence in me that I could hit," he said. "They were celebrating with me."
His RBI were the No. 1 topic in the postgame clubhouse.
"Big situations — I like the way he didn't try to do too much," Manager Mike Matheny said. "He's a good athlete."
Martinez (2-3) also pitched six innings and allowed three runs, all on Ozuna's homers. He struck out seven and walked two.
"At times the sinker had too much movement, and that's a good problem to have," Matheny said. "He was very sharp."
Miguel Socolovich pitched three innings to earn his first career save. He gave up Giancarlo Stanton's 11th homer in the ninth, his third in two days.
Ozuna also has 11 homers. He limped off the field with a tight hamstring after flying out in the ninth but said he doesn't think the issue is serious.
Matt Carpenter had a two-run triple for the Cardinals. Teammate Magneuris Sierra, called up Sunday from Single-A Palm Beach, contributed two hits and scored twice.
By the fourth, Martinez had a 7-0 lead, a big change for the right-hander. The Cardinals had scored only seven runs while he was on the mound previously this year.
The Cardinals have outscored opponents 30-11 during the winning streak and have won seven consecutive road games since April 21.
The Cardinals loaded the bases with two out in the second, and Martinez cleared them by pulling the first pitch down the left-field line. He added an RBI single in the fourth.
St. Louis center fielder Dexter Fowler was held out of the starting lineup for the fourth game in a row with an injured right shoulder but is improving and might return during the series.