ST. LOUIS (AP) Carlos Martinez wasn't sure how to react.
''I was slow because it was so exciting,'' Martinez said. ''I was running, but I wanted it to last.''
Dexter Fowler added a two-run homer for the Cardinals, who won their second game in a row.
Chicago has dropped four straight and 13 of 17. The White Sox fell to a season-low 12 games under .500.
Martinez (3-1) hit a 407-foot shot off Lucas Giolito (1-4) with two outs in the sixth to break a scoreless tie. He proceeded to take his time in a slow, methodical home run trot.
''The way he hit that ball, he didn't have to run,'' Cardinals first baseman Jose Martinez said. ''He wanted to enjoy it. Good for him.''
The home run came in Martinez's 205th career at-bat.
''Been waiting a long time for this,'' Carlos Martinez said. ''It felt good.''
He starred on the mound, too, allowing one run on five hits over 7 1-3 innings. He struck out five and walked two. The Cardinals have won each of his last six starts.
''You couldn't ask for any more than what he did today,'' St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. ''His change-up was a wipeout pitch and he just got progressively better.''
Martinez fanned three consecutive batters after giving up a leadoff double to Jose Abreu in the fourth. He also induced Daniel Palka to hit into an inning-ending double play in the seventh.
Giolito surrendered three runs on four hits over 6 1-3 innings. He struck out seven and walked two. He had walked 21 batters and struck out 11 over his first five starts, but turned in his best performance of the season.
''You give up a home run, whether it's a pitcher or position player, you have to be able to just forget about it immediately - keep going, keep staying on track,'' Giolito said. ''I didn't do that.''
Bud Norris picked up his sixth save in as many opportunities by retiring all four batters.
Fowler hit his 100th career home run in the seventh to push the lead to 3-0.
Yolmer Sanchez had an RBI single in the eighth. Abreu followed with a sacrifice fly to trim the deficit to 3-2.
''All in all, the guys kept battling,'' Chicago manager Rick Renteria said. ''I'm hopeful that's going to be a key to our continued movement forward.''
Yadier Molina had two hits for the Cardinals.
Martinez became the first Carlos Martinez to hit a home run in the majors since Jose Martinez's dad, also named Carlos, hit one for the California Angels on June 6, 1995.
White Sox: RHP Danny Farquhar continues to show progress after suffering a brain aneurysm on April 21. He went for a couple of short walks with his wife Lexi on Tuesday.
INF Yoan Moncada left the game in the eighth inning with left hamstring tightness. He is listed as day to day.
Cardinals: RHP Adam Wainwright threw a bullpen session before Wednesday's game. He has been on the disabled list since April 20 with right elbow inflammation.
''It went well,'' Matheny said.
There is no timetable for his return.
White Sox: RHP Reynaldo Lopez (0-2, 1.78) will start against RHP Jake Odorizzi (2-2, 3.94) in the first of a four-game set with the Twins on Thursday. Lopez has allowed two earned runs or fewer in all five starts. The matchup kicks off a six-game homestand for the White Sox
Cardinals: RHP Miles Mikolas (3-0, 3.27) takes on LHP Jose Quintana (3-1, 5.74) in the first of a three-game series against the Cubs on Friday. Mikolas leads the majors with a strikeout-walk ratio of 13.5-1.
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