Struggling Victor Martinez perks up with pair of hits
Detroit — Before the game Saturday, manager Brad Ausmus said he had contemplated giving a struggling Victor Martinez a few days off soon if things didn't turn around for him.
Martinez came into the game hitting .180 since Aug. 1, with a .297 slugging percentage and a .509 OPS. He hadn't knocked in a run in a career-high 13 straight games (0-for-16 with runners in scoring position) and he'd had four hits in his last 38 at-bats.
Ausmus moved him from fourth to fifth in the lineup and that didn't kick-start him. Asked if he'd consider dropping him lower in the order, Ausmus said, "He can't really be dropped much further."
The next option, then, would be to sit him for a few games.
"If I think he needs a day or two, we'll cross that bridge when we get there," Ausmus said.
Martinez batted fifth again Saturday against Indians right-hander Danny Salazar, whom Martinez has hit .350 against in his career.
"He's been OK against Salazar," Ausmus said. "Maybe it'll get him going tonight. We'll see how it goes."
Martinez hit the ball hard four times Saturday. He flew out deep to right and to center, then hit two solid singles to left field.
"He put the barrel on it four times and got a couple of hits," Ausmus said. "I hope it's the start of something good for Vic the rest of the way."