Found June 22, 2013 on
Fox Sports Detroit:
DETROIT With one swing of the bat in the first inning, Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez surpassed his RBI total from the last 13 games. Martinez hit a grand slam into a stiff wind off Boston Red Sox starter Allen Webster that landed in the first row of the right field seats.
Tigers third baseman and major league RBI leader Miguel Cabrera, who had walked on four pitches, bounded for joy between second and third base. He thrust his right fist into the air, showing emotion he doesnt even exhibit for his own heroics.
I was very excited because if we get a guy like Victor going its so important, Cabrera said. To win, we need Victor. And he got five RBIs tonightWe win the game. Thats what its all about. We know how to win games.
Max Scherzer had spotted Boston two runs in the top of the first, and Martinez gave him a two-run cushion just like that. Scherzer never allowed another run over seven innings Saturday night, during a 10-3 win that made him 11-0. No Tigers starter had ever opened the season with that many wins without a defeat, and nobody in the majors since Roger Clemens with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1997 had started the season with that record.
I asked Scherzer if he knew he could make the lead stick, but he just smiled and talked about his teammate.
I was so pumped for him, Scherzer said. Ive been watching it all year him hitting balls hard and getting no breaks. We all see how hard he works. To see him get the results really makes me happy.
Martinez drilled a fastball from Webster for his third career grand slam and sixth homer of the season. Hes batting .231 with 38 RBIs, and remains on pace for 84 RBIs despite the slow start.
I just knew that I hit it good for an RBI, said Martinez, knowing it was at least a sacrifice fly. But the ball kept going, and thank God it did not get caughtIm not going to lie: Ive hit some great balls that got caught.
Martinez later added an RBI-double, and also walked twice while scoring three runs. He was batting .132 in his previous 11 games, and the No. 5 spot in the order had been a void many nights.
We get him going, said Tigers manager Jim Leyland, and that stretches our lineup even more.
Martinez, 34, batted .330 with 12 homers and 103 RBIs in 2011. But hes been slow to return to his normal production level since missing 2012 after surgery on his left knee.
His good friend and former teammate, David Ortiz, 37, had a homer off Scherzer and is batting .309 with 16 homers and 55 RBIs.
What hes doing at that age is an inspiration, Martinez said.
Then he added, I might be getting close to retirement, but I see a player like that. Why cant I do that?
Its only one game, and Martinez had four RBIs in a game at Houston on May 4 and a three-RBI game June 6 against Tampa Bay. Consistency is what its all about and what he still must attain.
But what if this game was the beginning of a successful run for Martinez?
That, in part, is what had Cabrera in a euphoric state as he rounded the bases in front of his good friend.
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Rod says, "Look out, Victor" but he didn't look. He blindly flipped a perfect ball to Drew Smyly who was covering first for the out. The feeling that the Tigers were going to come back and win this game, for me, came on this play. Too special. Looooook out. But don't look out. You know.
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