CLEVELAND — Victor Martinez’s first major
01-29-2019, 07:46 AM,
CLEVELAND — Victor Martinez’s first major
league at bat came at age 23 as a member of the Cleveland Indians on Sept. 10 Jeff Mathis Jersey , 2002, in what was known as Jacobs Field.On Sunday, Martinez, 39, will take his last at-bat at what is known as Progressive Field in the final meeting of the season between the Detroit Tigers and the Cleveland Indians.Martinez, a five-time All-Star and runner-up to Mike Trout in the 2014 MVP voting, is retiring at the end of the season. Martinez spent the first eight years of his major league career as a catcher with the Indians. He was traded to Boston, where he played two years under manager Terry Francona, who is now the Indians’ manager.Article continues below ...“He’s one of the nicest guys in the game, one of the most professional hitters, and one of the best switch-hitters you’ll ever see,” Francona said.Martinez is a .295 career hitter and has amassed 2,148 hits in his 16-year major league career — 1,028 as a member of the Tigers.“He was the perfect batter to hit behind Miggy,” said Francona of Martinez, who typically hit behind the now-injured Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera. “Nobody wanted to face Miggy, but if you didn’t, then you had to face Victor.”Martinez was a .306 career hitter through the 2014 season , but age and injuries caught up to him in the last four years, during which he has hit .262. Before Saturday’s game, a 15-0 Indians victory that clinched their third consecutive American League Central title, the Indians presented Martinez with a plaque during a pregame ceremony.On Sunday, Martinez will face Cleveland right-hander Shane Bieber (10-3, 4.32 ERA). Martinez is 0-for-3 versus the rookie. Bieber is second among AL rookies in wins and strikeouts.In Bieber’s last start, a 10-3 victory over Tampa Bay on Tuesday, he set a career high for strikeouts. He pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing three hits, with 11 strikeouts and three walks.Bieber’s rookie season has had three distinct stages. In his first four starts, he was 3-0 with a 2.22 ERA. In his next five starts he was 2-2 with a 7.33 ERA, and in his last eight starts he is 5-1 with a 3.66 ERA.Bieber’s only career appearance against Detroit was a 10-0 victory June 22, in which he pitched seven scoreless innings on four hits, with nine strikeouts and one walk.Detroit’s Sunday starter will be 34-year-old left-hander Francisco Liriano (4-10, 4.58), who has only won one game since April 28. In 18 starts since, Liriano is 1-9 with a 4.97 ERA.His last start was a 3-2 loss to Houston on Monday in which he pitched six innings and allowed three runs (zero earned) and four hits, with seven strikeouts and four walks.Liriano’s last start against the Indians came June 23 Babe Ruth Jersey , a 4-1 loss in which he pitched four innings, giving up three runs (two earned) and four hits, with three strikeouts and three walks.In four appearances (three starts) against the Indians this year, Liriano is 0-2 with a 4.96 ERA. In his career, he has made 24 appearances (18 starts) against Cleveland and is 5-8 with a 4.31 ERA. BALTIMORE (AP) — The Baltimore Orioles trudged off the field following a historic loss, still not absorbing that they are part of one of the worst teams in franchise history.The Orioles lost to the Toronto Blue Jays 6-4 on Tuesday. It was the team’s 108th loss, the most in a season since arriving in Baltimore in 1954.“You’re either playing in October or you’re not,” manager Buck Showalter said. “But these types of things make people think how far away you are. Like I said before, those things can change quickly. A lot of things can get better.”The 1988 Orioles opened the season 0-21 and held the previous record for losses with a 54-107 finish. The overall franchise record for defeats is 111 set by the 1939 St. Louis Browns — a mark that could also be eclipsed by this year’s team.The Orioles led 4-2 in the seventh before a throwing error by third baseman Steve Wilkerson on a grounder by Teoscar Hernández allowed two runs to score. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. followed with a two-RBI single off reliever Paul Fry that that provided the margin of victory.Gurriel has reached base safely in 34 of his last 38 starts, batting .316 in that stretch.“I’ve noticed that (pitchers) changed a little bit, the way they approach me, and they are a little bit more careful,” Gurriel said through an interpreter. “But I have to do the same thing on my side to make adjustments. But I hit the ball hard lately, as well. I knew that was going to happen.”Dylan Bundy (8-15) started strong for the Orioles before being lifted with two outs in the seventh when the game unraveled. He was charged with five runs (two earned) and seven hits and six strikeouts. Bundy did not allow a home run for the first time since June 23, a span of 13 consecutive starts.“The season ain’t over yet, so I haven’t really wrapped my head around it yet,” Bundy said about the 108 losses. “I haven’t really thought about it too much. Just try to show up to work every day and get better.”Reliever Jake Petricka (3-1) pitched two scoreless innings. Tyler Clippard held the Orioles down in the eighth, setting up Ken Giles to earn his 23rd save.“Sometimes you win ugly , sometimes you win pretty,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said.Cedric Mullins led off the first inning with his fourth home run.The Orioles extended the lead to 4-0 off Aaron Sanchez in the fourth. Trey Mancini led off with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Breyvic Valera. Mancini was initially called out but a review showed he touched the plate before catcher Reese McGuire applied the tag. DJ Stewart followed with his first career single and Chris Davis scored on a throwing error by right fielder Billy McKinney. Stewart scored on a throwing error by Sanchez.“You run through things many times in your head about how you think it’s going to go, but that’s the great thing about this game,” Stewart said about his first hit. “You never know what it will bring you and I’m just happy I got it done.”The Blue Jays got on the board in the fifth on an RBI single by Dwight Smith Jr. A fielder’s choice by Justin Smoak an inning later cut the margin to 4-2.ANOTHER FIRST FOR ORIOLESThe Orioles players and coaches wore specially designed jerseys and became the first American pro team to wear jerseys with Braille lettering. Tuesday was National Federation of the Blind Night at Oriole Park, in recognition of the team moving its headquarters to Baltimore 40 years ago.DOMINANCEThe Blue Jays have struggled, but more than 20 percent of their wins have come against Baltimore, going 14-4. Toronto can complete a three-game sweep Wednesday.TRAINER’S ROOMOrioles: RHP Alex Cobb (blister) threw off a mound, but there is no timetable for his return. RHP Andrew Cashner is making progress with his injured knee, but manager Buck Showalter was uncertain if he will be pitch again this season. “Obviously, they’re both going to be with us next year and that will take precedent, to make sure that it’s in the best interest of their health,” Showalter said. . Rookie RHP Luis Ortiz (hamstring) will not pitch over the final two weeks.UP NEXTBlue Jays: Marco Estrada (7-12, 5.75 ERA) was moved up a day after throwing only 55 pitches in his last outing against the Yankees, allowing eight runs and six hits.Orioles: Jimmy Yacabonis (0-2, 7.22 ERA) will make his fifth start of the season.
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