Martinez ties Sept. homer mark, D’backs rally to top Giants
PHOENIX (AP) — J.D. Martinez has only spent 59 games in the National League, but his manager believes he deserves MVP consideration.
Martinez tied Ralph Kiner’s NL record with his 16th homer in September, sparking a three-run, ninth-inning rally that led the Arizona Diamondbacks past the San Francisco Giants 4-3 on Wednesday.
“This guy is unbelievable,” said David Peralta, who capped off the rally with a game-ending, bases-loaded walk. “I told him, ‘Hey, you’ve got four at-bats without a home run.’ Boom! Next at-bat, he hit a home run.”
Martinez has 45 homers this season, 29 of them in his 59 games with the Diamondbacks, who acquired him in a trade with the Tigers on July 18. He hit 16 homers in 57 games with Detroit.
His 36 RBIs this month set an Arizona record, surpassing Luis Gonzalez’ 35 in June 2001.
The major league record for September homers is 17, by Babe Ruth in 1927 and Albert Belle in 1995.
“What can you continue to say about J.D.? He hits his 16th home run and you’re talking about historical records now,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “He’s locked in.”
The Diamondbacks began their stirring 2017 season with a come-from-behind, walk-off win over San Francisco. Their final home game of the regular season ended in similar fashion against the same team.
“I guess we started how we finished at home, and these guys did not shut down on a day game after a night game,” Lovullo said.
Arizona will be back in action at Chase Field next Wednesday in the NL wild card game.
Daniel Descalso jogged home with the winning run on Peralta’s walk for the Diamondbacks’ ninth walk-off win of the season.
“The way we came back in this game was unbelievable. We never give up. We always fight anybody,” Peralta said. “I was really patient in that at-bat. The pressure is on the pitcher.”
All of the runs were charged to Giants closer Sam Dyson (3-3). J.J. Hoover (3-1) earned the win in relief.