Cardinals skipping Carlos Martinez’s next start due to back issue

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Cardinals will skip right-hander Carlos Martinez on Tuesday against the Nationals and call up left-hander Marco Gonzales to start instead.

According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Martinez is dealing with a back issue which isn’t believed to be serious. The 23-year-old has already thrown a career-high 154 2/3 innings this season while posting a 2.91 ERA, but the results have been mixed over the past month. The Cardinals have their eyes on the postseason, so it makes sense to rest him now. Surely the Nationals won’t complain.

Gonzales, the Cardinals’ first-round pick from 2013, has thrown just 75 1/3 innings in the minors this season due to pectoral and shoulder injuries. The numbers on the whole haven’t been pretty for the southpaw, but he has a 2.66 ERA over his last four starts in Triple-A and will try to keep that going against major league hitters. The 23-year-old had a 4.15 ERA in five starts and five relief appearances in his first taste of the majors last year.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”

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