Toronto — It was a beautiful RBI bunt, plunked nicely down the third-base line, and good for the Detroit Tigers' first run on Sunday.
It had been delivered rather daringly by Leonys Martin in the fifth inning of a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre that saw the Tigers end their many days of defeats with a 9-1 victory.
But by the time Martin crossed first base, just as Niko Goodrum was crossing home plate with the tying run, the Tigers center-fielder was limping.
He hobbled all the way into the dugout. "Hamstring cramp," was the early news flash, which by the end of Sunday's game had been amended to a 10-day stint on the disabled list, the second time this season Martin has been lost because of left hamstring issues.
"We all knew something happened," said Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire, who had watched Martin slap a lovely bases-loaded bunt to put the Tigers on top. "Obviously, there's something in there."
Martin will almost certainly be replaced Monday by Mikie Mahtook, who has been playing at Triple A Toledo and who was pulled Sunday from the Mud Hens lineup — standard procedure when a player is called to the big leagues.
Mahtook is, of course, on the 40-man roster and presents no issues there. Mahtook is hitting .289 in his last 10 games for the Mud Hens, .261 on the year for Toledo, and has spent plenty of past time with the Tigers.
Martin first hurt his hamstring in early May and had a 10-day hiatus. The hamstring has been sturdy enough for Martin to play the past six weeks, but he acknowledged Sunday it has steadily reminded him that it's anything but 100 percent.
"It's been bothering me," he said after Sunday's game, which saw the Tigers pull a jail-break from what had been an 11-game losing streak. "I don't want to make it worse. I want to play the second half (season schedule). I don't want to keep pushing it."
Martin is batting .257 for the Tigers, with nine home runs, and has been one of the team's ongoing plusses after he signed last autumn as a free agent.