Molina’s double in 10th leads Cards past skidding D-backs

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Martinez was brilliant through six innings but ran into trouble in the seventh, allowing three straight hits and getting pulled from the game after David Peralta’s RBI double. He retired the first nine batters he faced, including six strikeouts. He didn’t allow a baserunner until Josh Rojas led off the fourth with a walk.

He struck out six and allowed three earned runs.

“He’s just done a fantastic job,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. “He was in attack mode.”

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Génesis Cabrera relieved Martinez but allowed all three batters he faced to reach base, including Smith’s two-run double, which cut the Cardinals’ lead to 4-3. Ryan Helsley was able to keep the lead despite entering the game in a no-out, bases-loaded jam, pumping 99 mph fastballs past Carson Kelly and Andy Young before Rojas hit a harmless groundout to second base.

“That was huge by Helsley, pulled a Houdini,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said.

After Smith tied the game in the eighth and it looked like a Diamondbacks win might finally be on the horizon. Instead, Arizona fell to 18-33, which is the worst record in the National League.

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“It’s been tough mentally, physically, emotionally, you name it,” D-backs catcher Stephen Vogt said. “Obviously, we’re grinding right now.”

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