ST. LOUIS (AP) — Starter Carlos Martinez has been filling a variety of roles for the St. Louis Cardinals.
For Joe Maddon and the Chicago Cubs, the focus Saturday was more on the rules.
Martinez had his second straight two-hit game and started a disputed double play to help the Cardinals beat the Cubs 5-3.
In the fifth inning, Chicago’s Ian Happ was charged with interference on a hard slide into second base. On a grounder by Anthony Rizzo, Happ slid past the bag while shortstop Aledmys Diaz fielded a flip from Martinez, and Rizzo was ruled out when umpires made the interference call. Kyle Schwarber had scored from third base, but that run was nullified by the double play, keeping the Cardinals ahead 3-1.
“I have no idea why these rules are a part of our game. Outs are rewarded based on a fabricated rule,” Maddon said. “I’m not blaming the umpire. Umpires do what they have to do. I think we have a tendency to micromanage stuff that we have no business to do. Don’t give me all protectionism stuff because I’m not buying into it. It’s wrong.”
Cubs starter Jon Lester is not a fan of the slide rule either.
“We’re out there playing with a bunch of pansies right now,” Lester said. “I’m over this damn slide rule. We’re all grown men out there. I told Happ in the dugout to do the exact same thing the next time. It’s baseball man.”
In a rematch of the season opener, Martinez (3-3) again topped Lester (1-2). Martinez allowed three runs, five hits and four walks over 6 2/3 innings, striking out seven.
Martinez also scored Tommy Pham on a squeeze bunt in the third inning. Lester tried to field the ball and flip it home, but the attempt came up short while Martinez took second with nobody covering.
“I got the green light from (manager Mike) Matheny to execute the bunt and everything turned out good,” Martinez said.
Martinez doubled leading off the fifth inning. In his previous start May 8, he doubled and drove in four runs.
“Just an overall great day for Carlos,” Matheny said.
Happ, a top Cubs prospect, homered off Martinez in the seventh for his first hit in his major league debut.
“He’s very calm and a confident young man,” Maddon said. “What you saw today was not a surprise to any of us. He’s obviously an interesting young player.
“He was never overwhelmed by being here today. He put the uniform on and went out there and hit a homer.”
Pham had two hits, two RBIs, a walk and a stolen base. The outfielder is batting .387 with seven extra-base hits in eight games since being recalled from Triple-A this month.
Seung Hwan Oh pitched the ninth, giving up a two-out single before picking up his 10th save in 11 opportunities.
Lester labored, throwing 112 pitches in 5 2/3 innings. He allowed six hits and four runs, three earned, walked four and struck out nine.
St. Louis went ahead 3-1 in a two-run fourth inning. Jedd Gyorko led off with a home run, and Yadier Molina followed with a single and then stole his 50th career base. Pham singled Molina home after Greg Garcia’s sacrifice bunt.
Maddon is 999-869 as a manager while guiding the Angels (twice in an interim role), Tampa Bay and the Cubs. With his next win, he will be the eighth active manager to reach 1,000 wins, joining Bruce Bochy, Dusty Baker, Mike Scioscia, Buck Showalter, Terry Francona, Clint Hurdle and Net Yost.
The Cardinals and Cubs drew 47,882 fans. It is the largest ever baseball crowd at Busch Stadium III.
Cubs: Reigning NL MVP Kris Bryant missed his second game with a stomach flu. … SS Addison Russell (right shoulder) was out of the starting lineup for a third consecutive game. Russell pinch hit in the seventh and grounded out.
Cardinals: Michael Wacha was supposed to start but was pushed back until next week. That will give him extra rest in his first full season back from arm surgery.
Cubs: RHP Jake Arrieta (4-2, 5.35) will make his eighth start. He has a 7.65 ERA in his last four starts. In his last outing at Colorado, he allowed nine runs (five earned) in 3 2/3 innings. He is 8-2 in 14 career starts against the Cardinals.
Cardinals: RHP Adam Wainwright (2-3, 6.37) will reach 328 career games and pass Ken Dayley for 12th on the Cardinals career list, one behind Al Hrabosky. He has 13 wins against the Cubs, second most among active pitchers behind Cincinnati’s Bronson Arroyo.