Any disappointment Nick Martinez might have felt upon returning to the Minor Leagues didn't show on the mound. If anything, opposing batters were the unfortunate beneficiaries of the 26-year-old's frustrations on Friday night.
In his second start since returning to Triple-A, Martinez allowed one hit over six scoreless innings for Round Rock, which dropped a 2-1 decision to Memphis at AutoZone Park.
Gameday box score
Video: Round Rock's Martinez fires six one-hit innings
The 26-year-old walked two and fanned one while throwing 58 of 90 pitches for strikes.
Martinez allowed one baserunner through the first 4 1/3 innings. The right-hander walked Cardinals No. 2 prospect Carson Kelly leading off the second but got Jose Adolis Garcia to hit into a double play that helped Martinez face the minimum through four.
Garcia collected Memphis' first hit of the game with a one-out double in the fifth but was stranded. Martinez worked around a two-out walk to Nick Martini in the sixth to complete his longest scoreless outing since he tossed seven shutout frames for Double-A Frisco on Aug. 27, 2013. He blanked the A's on one hit over six innings in the Majors on June 9, 2015.
Video: Memphis' Kelly singles up the middle to win it
The Fordham University product began the year with Round Rock but made just one start before he was promoted to Texas on April 12. He was optioned back to the Pacific Coast League three days later but returned to the bigs again on April 22 and posted a 4.56 ERA in 14 games, including 11 starts. In parts of three Major League seasons, Martinez is 17-25 with a 4.46 ERA in 79 games.
Jared Hoying's two-out double in the third gave the Express a 1-0 lead. The Redbirds tied it game in the eighth on Alex Mejia's solo homer and walked off on Kelly's single to center for their 12th win in 14 games.
Memphis starter John Gant allowed one run on five hits over six innings, walking one and matching his season high with seven strikeouts. Josh Lucas (7-0) retired all three batters in the ninth to pick up the win.