Martinez drives in six for RailRiders

Yankees newcomer homers twice in romp over PawSox

By Jake Seiner / Special to | June 29, 2013 8:26 PM ET

Fernando Martinez is making a push to return to New York.

The former Met remained white-hot since landing with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, mashing a pair of homers and driving in six runs on Saturday night as the RailRiders cruised past Pawtucket, 12-4.

Martinez was 4-for-6 and also scored twice while raising his average to .405 in 11 games with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He has three homers, 13 RBIs and a 1.184 OPS during that stretch. The two homers and six RBIs tied Minor League career highs, matching totals he posted on April 13, 2012 with Triple-A Oklahoma City.

The Yankees traded for the 24-year-old outfielder on June 18, acquiring him from the Astros for right-hander Charles Basford. Martinez hit .182 in 11 games with Houston and spent most of the season in the Pacific Coast League, where he batted .219 in 28 games.

Martinez highlighted the RailRiders' seven-run fourth inning with a three-run blast off PawSox starter Chris Hernandez (3-3). He hit another three-run shot in the fifth, this one way out to right field.

"That's something I do every time. I swing hard," Martinez said. "I never swing easy. I try to crush the ball."

The recent hot streak puts Martinez in the mix for a potential callup for the Yankees, and his aggressive left-handed swing could combine fortuitously with Yankee Stadium's very accessible right-field porch. Asked if he'd thought about how his swing might play if he were called up, Martinez responded with a lengthy, "Ohh," akin to a wide-eyed child taking a first glimpse at Disney World.

"I played before in Yankee Stadium," Martinez said. "Never hit a homer, but I see the games like everybody try to go over because it's so close. Sometimes I see myself with that right field, if I played in Yankee Stadium, I can hit some homers."

The native of the Dominican Republic has made a resounding argument in his short time in the Yankees system. After going 0-for-5 in his debut on June 19, Martinez has hit safely in all but one game. Five of those 10 contests have featured multi-hit efforts, including a 3-for-5 showing on Tuesday against Syracuse that included a double and two RBIs.

Martinez hit his first home run as a RailRider on Wednesday and has as many walks (four) as strikeouts through 42 at-bats.

The outfielder signed with the Mets as an international free agent in 2005 and made his big league debut in 2009 at the age of 20. He hit .176 with one homer and eight RBIs in 29 games, then played seven Major League games in 2010 and 11 the following year.

The Astros claimed Martinez off waivers in January 2012 and played him in 41 big league games in 2012. He batted .237 with a .766 OPS while hitting .314 with an .874 OPS in 90 games with Oklahoma City.

Brent Lillibridge and Dan Johnson also homered for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, with Lillibridge added a pair of doubles.

Jake Seiner is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter at @Jake_Seiner. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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