Martinez makes impression

Four different times Cristhian Martinez has been called up and sent back down to Double-A Jacksonville. Each time, the right-hander has shown why the team thinks he has a bright future in the big leagues.

Martinez was optioned to Double-A after Thursday’s game to make room for Anibal Sanchez to be reinstated off the disabled list.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez credits Martinez for “saving the bullpen” on Thursday. The right-hander also prevented Josh Johnson’s ERA from shooting up. Johnson exited after 4 1/3 innings with the bases loaded. The Astros had already scored four times off Johnson, and they threatened to add on some more runs.

But Martinez worked out of the fifth by getting Carlos Lee to tap into a double play, ending the inning. He ended up throwing 2 2/3 innings of perfect relief.

In seven big league games, the right-hander has 12 1/3 innings pitched. What the Marlins like is he’s struck out 13 and walked just two.

If he isn’t called back up before Sept. 1, Martinez is a lock to be a September callup.

“You kind of like to reward guys who do well and throw strikes,” Gonzalez said. “He’s done that.”

— Joe Frisaro


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