By Ashley Dunkak
CBS DETROIT – Detroit Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez, 26, had been cut by the Houston Astros when the Tigers signed him to a minor-league contract in late March. Since the Tigers called up Martinez in late April, he has batted .320 and smacked nine homers.
The Tigers already had a powerful duo with two-time MVP Miguel Cabrera batting third and four-time All-Star Victor Martinez hitting fourth, but the emergence of J.D. Martinez has ratcheted up the overall power of the lineup in a big way. With J.D. Martinez now hitting fifth, Victor Martinez has been protected almost as well as he has protected Cabrera.
One might wonder how the Astros let the 26-year-old Martinez get away. Victor Martinez is certainly puzzled by the move.
“Honestly,” he told MLive following Wednesday’s win. “I don’t know how they did it.”
J.D. Martinez is riding a 14-game hitting streak, the longest active streak in the majors. In seven of those 14 games, Martinez has recorded multiple hits.
Martinez is not just slapping singles, either. Over the 14 games of his hitting streak, he has turned in extra-base hits in 11 games. In three of the last five, Martinez has recorded both a double and a home run.
Simply put, Martinez is one of the hottest hitters in the game, and the Astros – the ones that let him get away – get to face him Friday, Saturday and Sunday. He went 2-for-8 against his former team when the Tigers and the Astros met for two games in early May.