Cardinals chase Tim Lincecum, lead 4-1 through five innings

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Adam Wainwright has some more cushion to work with going into the top of the sixth inning.

The Cardinals tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and currently lead the Giants 4-1 in Game 4 of the NLCS.

They got the first run after Matt Carpenter just missed a home run to center field and settled for a double. Matt Holliday then hit a liner to center field which Angel Pagan managed to snag on the hop and make the throw back into the infield. They had a chance at getting Carpenter at the plate, but Hector Sanchez couldn’t handle the throw from Brandon Crawford. Lincecum was finally chased from the game after giving up a two-out RBI single to Yadier Molina.

All told, Lincecum gave up four runs on six hits and three walks while striking out three. He threw 51 out of 91 pitches for strikes. Not exactly the big game the Giants were hoping for. And soon they could be down 3-1 in the series.

J.D. Martinez tells teams he prefers an outfield role

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Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.

That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.

Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.