LOS ANGELES (AP) — As the Los Angeles Dodgers’ oldest player, Russell Martin figures he has an extra appreciation for this club’s remarkable string of impossibly dramatic victories at Chavez Ravine.
When the veteran backup catcher got a chance to contribute to this season of walk-off wonders, he didn’t waste it.
“Let the old guys get hot too, you know?” Martin said with a grin.
Martin drove a two-run, two-out single up the middle for the Dodgers’ 10th walk-off win of the season, and Los Angeles swept the St. Louis Cardinals with a 2-1 victory Wednesday.
The 36-year-old Martin delivered after a frustrating offensive day for the Dodgers, who have won five straight despite the best efforts of Jack Flaherty. Los Angeles couldn’t score during seven brilliant innings of four-hit ball by the Cardinals starter in his hometown ballpark, but the Dodgers still came through against St. Louis’ bullpen.
Andrew Miller hit Corey Seager with a pitch with one out in the ninth, and Carlos Martinez (2-2) gave up pinch-hitter Will Smith’s single. After Martinez threw a wild pitch to move up both runners, Martin bounced a two-strike single through the middle, and Smith sprinted home with the winning run.
Martin hadn’t had a walk-off hit since May 2016 in Toronto, and he hadn’t delivered a walk-off hit for the Dodgers since April 2007. He’s batting .219 this season, but he still helped Los Angeles post its major league-high 77th win.
Casey Sadler (2-0) pitched the ninth for Los Angeles, which avoided its first shutout loss since May 18 with its final swing.
Los Angeles improved to 46-15 at home while hitting double digits in walk-off wins and matching the total walk-offs by last season’s pennant-winning Dodgers.
Marcell Ozuna homered off Dodgers rookie Dustin May in the sixth inning for the Cardinals, who went 0-5 on their California road trip after scoring just two runs in three games at Dodger Stadium.
“The lack of execution in the ninth, that’s what stands out,” Cards manager Mike Shildt said.
St. Louis’ clubhouse was somnolent after this game, but Flaherty saw positives.
“They’ve been the best team in baseball for a little bit now,” Flaherty said. “But we’ve played them really, really well these last two games, and we know what happened earlier in this season (a four-game Cardinals sweep in St. Louis in April). So we know we’re going to see them again. Everybody in here is confident about that.”