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Martinez smashes 40th home run

OF is 5th player in MLB history to hit 40 homers combined with two different teams in same season
MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- By hitting a two-run homer to center field in Sunday afternoon's 7-2 loss to the Giants at AT&T Park, D-backs outfielder J.D. Martinez became the third player in 2017 to hit 40 homers.

Martinez hit a first-pitch fastball from Giants starter Chris Stratton and got more than enough of it to get it over the wall, reaching the 40-homer mark for the first time in his career.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- By hitting a two-run homer to center field in Sunday afternoon's 7-2 loss to the Giants at AT&T Park, D-backs outfielder J.D. Martinez became the third player in 2017 to hit 40 homers.

Martinez hit a first-pitch fastball from Giants starter Chris Stratton and got more than enough of it to get it over the wall, reaching the 40-homer mark for the first time in his career.

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"It's an honor. It's definitely an achievement that I never thought I could reach," Martinez said. "To reach it is definitely a blessing."

Sunday's home run gives Martinez 24 in 51 games with the D-backs, trailing only Miami's Giancarlo Stanton for the most in the Majors since Martinez was acquired in a trade with the Tigers on July 18.

It also makes him the fifth player in Major League history to hit 40 combined home runs with multiple teams in a single season. Manager Torey Lovullo has been impressed with how Martinez approaches each pitch.

"He is ultimately prepared to strike at any time, and you can see when he's getting the pitch that he's looking for, he's squaring it up," Lovullo said. "That was a key moment for us, it got us right back into the game, but I think people who understand what goes on every day, the work that he's putting in to make those moments happen.

"It's not blind luck. He's extremely talented on the field and a really smart, prepared hitter."

He's also been striking early in the count, as each of his last eight homers have come within the first three pitches of their at-bat. That includes the final two from his four-homer game against the Dodgers Sept. 4. The slugger says that it isn't about wanting to swing at the first pitch.

Video: Must C Classic: Martinez hits four homers, plates six

"I wouldn't say I look early, but I'm always ready to hit," Martinez said. "When I go up there, taking to take doesn't do anything for me. If I go up there and I'm ready to hit and then I take? OK. But going up there taking a pitch just to take a pitch, I feel like you don't get anything out of that."

Martinez credits his former teammate Miguel Cabrera with teaching him that approach, allowing him to be mentally prepared to swing at any point in an at-bat. With two weeks to go in the regular season and postseason games sure to follow, Martinez is hungry for more.

"I'm going to keep doing the same thing I've been doing. That's kind of like how I got here, to this number," Martinez said. "Just go up there and try to hit a single. Try to make solid contact and hit a low line drive. With my swing and the way I top my swing, the ball's going to go up."

Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Arizona Diamondbacks, J.D. Martinez