Wong, Martinez dazzle as Cardinals get back in the win column

Posted by Scott Wuerz on March 12, 2014 

I mentioned last week that I thought the best thing that could happen for St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong would be if he had a three-hit day to boost his confidence and get him on the right track.

That's easier said than done.

But Wong pulled off the trick. And ever since then the young man has flat-out been on a roll.

On Wednesday Wong hit his second home run in as many days and had two hits in four at-bats that pushed his average to .292. He started of hitless in 10 at-bats. since then he's batting .500, 7-for-14.

On the field Wong looks like a brand new player. He was tense and choppy at the plate. Now he's aggressive and fearless. His plate breakthrough has also carried through to the field where Wong seems to have increased his range without a big monkey on his back.

Also hot Wednesday was Carlos Martinez who twirled four shut-out innings against the New York Mets.

Martinez struck out three and walked one while surrendering two hits. He'd probably like to be in the starting rotation more than the Redbirds' assumed plan of using him as Trevor Rosenthals' set-up man. But the fact that manager Mike Matheny let Martinez stretch out for four innings seems to indicate Martinez is seriously being considered for the rotation.

Joe Kelly, exceptional last season once he made it to the rotation, hasn't been great so far this spring in his bid to fill in for injured hurler Jaime Garcia. But there's still a lot of camp to go.

 

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