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Martinez homers in return from oblique injury

HOUSTON -- It has been a frustrating start to the season for outfielder Fernando Martinez, who was set to make the Opening Day roster before an oblique injury sent him to the disabled list. He rejoined the club on Sunday and started in left field in his 2013 debut.

His return to Minute Mate Park, though, was more enjoyable. Martinez smacked the first pitch he saw in 2013 to the left-field seats for a two-run home run.

Martinez was 2-for-18 on a Minor League rehab assignment at Triple-A Oklahoma City and was activated when J.D. Martinez went on the disabled list with a right knee sprain. The often-injured outfielder said he is 100 percent, but wants to prove he's healthy.

"It's very important for me because over my career there have been a lot of injuries," he said. "I have to prove it to the people, prove it to myself I can play every day."

Martinez, a former top prospect of the Mets who was claimed off waivers by the Astros on Jan. 11, 2012, hit .344 in the spring with one homer and eight RBIs, and he was set to start on Opening Day before straining his oblique.

"That was a little hard for me because I worked hard in the offseason to be here, to make the Opening Day roster," he said. "That's part of the game, and it's just something that happens. You have to be ready for the next step and the opportunity that's here now."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.
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