J.D. Martinez fouls ball off knee, day to day
Outfielder exits in 3rd inning after trying to play through it
BALTIMORE -- After losing David Price, Yoenis Cespedes and Joakim Soria at the Trade Deadline, the Tigers have another loss to try to handle. All-Star right fielder J.D. Martinez left Saturday's game -- a 6-2 Orioles victory -- after fouling a second-inning pitch off his left knee.
X-rays revealed no structural damage. Martinez is listed as day to day with a left knee contusion, but holds out hope he can play in Sunday's series finale.
"I want to play," Martinez said. "I'm going to do everything I can."
Martinez was in immediate pain after fouling off the pitch from Kevin Gausman, stretching and limping for a few minutes as head athletic trainer Kevin Rand checked on him. Martinez struck out and went immediately to the clubhouse as Tyler Collins began to stretch in the dugout.
Martinez emerged to take his spot in the field for the bottom of the second, but was still limping. He went back to the clubhouse for the third inning and stayed there. Collins took over in right field for the bottom of the inning.
"They wrapped it up right away and I thought I was going to be fine," Martinez said. "I got out there and, when you hit a foul ball off your calf or your foot it hurts and then you wait for it to subside. That's what I was doing, but when I put weight on it, my whole leg just felt weak. It wasn't pain. I think it was my body protecting itself because of the pain. It just felt unstable putting weight on it.
"When I was going back for that fly ball, just putting weight on it, I started limping right away and I said, 'I'm no good out here.'"
With Cespedes now a Met and Miguel Cabrera a couple of weeks away with a strained left calf, any serious injury to Martinez might be too much for the Tigers' offense to overcome. He leads the team with 28 home runs and 68 RBIs, and his offense Wins Above Replacement of 3.3 ranked 10th among American League players entering Saturday.