10 RBI by J.D. and Victor Martinez Crush Yankees
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, JUNE 22- Turning the tables on the New York Yankees who had 18 hits and five home runs on Saturday night, the Detroit Tigers responded with 15 hits and five homers the following day to easily defeat the Yanks. Six of the Detroit hits, four of the homers and 10 of the runs batted in came off the bats of J.D. and Victor Martinez.
Victor Martinez smacked a two-run homer in the first with two out to double his season total of home runs. The 36-year-old star was activated two days earlier after spending more than one month on the disabled list with left knee inflammation.
The native of Venezuela also drove in two additional runs with a single in his second at bat. Obviously, Detroit skipper Brad Ausmus was happy to see last year’s runner-up in the American League MVP voting back in the lineup, “It was a good sight to see. He turned on three balls today.”
J.D. Martinez blasted his first homer of the contest with a man on base, two batters after Victor in the first frame. The native Floridian led off the fifth with a solo home run to drive in his third run of the game. He has reached base safely in his last 15 games.
Victor Martinez and native Cuban Yoenis Cespedes were on base after each singled when JD belted his third homer of the contest to raise his RBI total of the day to six.
Despite Martinez never having had a multi-home run game in his previous 442 major league contests, Ausmus was not surprised by the power he exhibited, “J.D,’s got a lot of power. All three of those homers were not cheap. Outside of Miggy [Miguel Cabrera], I’ve never seen a guy with more power.’
J.D. made out in his previous two at bats against Tanaka, but believed the difference on Sunday was Tanaka “left the ball up.” He also explained, “I hit it good, but the ball carries well here.”
Martinez was asked by reporters if he was trying for a MLB tying record of four home runs in his final at bat of the contest, “I was definitely anxious. I don’t think he gave me one strike.” Martinez flied to right in that last trip to the plate.
The feat of hitting three home runs in a single game had only been one before at the current Yankee Stadium (Curtis Granderson on April 19, 2012).