ST. LOUIS - Carlos Martinez gets a spot start in place of Adam Wainwright for St. Louis tonight when the Cardinals begin a three-game set with the New York Mets at Busch Stadium.
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Wainwright was scratched from his scheduled start because of tendinitis in his elbow, although he expects to be able to pitch Saturday against the Phillies when his turn comes around again.
Martinez is 0-3 with a 4.67 ERA in 30 relief appearances. He'll be limited to 50-60 pitches in his second career big league start.
"I think it's part of keeping to our word," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "We've had other opportunities that didn't seem quite right, where the role he was filling in the bullpen didn't really allow this opportunity to bounce him into a start.
"We told him to keep working and he was going to get a chance. He still has a big role for us in the bullpen, but this is an opportunity that is also a necessity. We need somebody to step up and be able to take this start for Adam. We believe Carlos can do a good job of that."
In a corresponding roster move, the Cardinals called up reliever Nick Greenwood from Triple-A Memphis on Saturday. He'll provide some bullpen depth with Martinez on a pitch count.
For New York, rookie Jacob deGrom remains winless through six starts despite a 3.44 ERA and 7.9 strikeouts per nine innings. He gave up a career-high nine hits in 5 2/3 innings against Milwaukee his last time out, as he yielded three earned runs and was charged with the loss.
New York took two of three from the San Diego Padres this weekend, although the team enters this series with an overtaxed bullpen.
On Sunday, the Mets claimed a 3-1 victory as Carlos Torres, Vic Black and Jenrry Mejia combined to throw eight innings of one-run ball after starter Daisuke Matsuzaka exited after just one inning with a severe upset stomach. Curtis Granderson led off the bottom of the first with a home run, as the Mets built a 3-1 lead after two innings and made it stick.
However, the Mets went just 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position, an area where the team has continued to struggle.
"We had opportunities to blow this game open," manager Terry Collins said. "We have to start blowing some games open because it's going to take a lot of pressure off a lot of people."
The Cardinals are off to a 3-0 start in their 10-game homestand after sweeping Washington over the weekend. The pitching staff combined to allow a total of only three runs for the series.
Jaime Garcia allowed just one run in five innings while striking out six in Sunday's 5-2 victory.
Matt Adams homered in all three games of the weekend series after spending the previous 13 games on the disabled list with tightness in his left calf. Adams, who is hitting at a .412 clip over his last 15 games, is trying to become the first Cardinals player to homer in four straight games since Albert Pujols from June 3-7, 2011.
The Mets won three of four against St. Louis when these teams met up at Citi Field from April 21-24.