By Tom Withers
CLEVELAND (AP) — Detroit Tigers designed hitter Victor Martinez has reached 2,000 career hits, and did it against the franchise that signed him as a teenager out of Venezuela.
The switch-hitter singled in the second inning Friday night off Cleveland’s Carlos Carrasco to reach the plateau. After reaching first, Martinez received a lengthy standing ovation from the large Cleveland crowd. He played eight seasons with the Indians before being traded in 2009.
Martinez hugged Detroit first-base coach Omar Vizquel, his teammate in Cleveland and a fellow Venezuelan, before tipping his cap to the crowd. Players on both benches applauded and the game was briefly halted to acknowledge the feat.
Martinez is the ninth active player to reach 2,000 hits, joining Ichiro Suzuki, Adrian Beltre, Albert Pujols, Carlos Beltran, Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, Matt Holliday and Jose Reyes.
The 38-year-old was a three-time All-Star with the Indians, who signed him in 1996. Martinez entered the season with a .301 career average.
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