April 26 (UPI) — Detroit Tigers center fielder Leonys Martin had an entertaining first at-bat in a 13-10 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates, homering after getting hit in the groin.
Martin stepped in to face Pirates righty Jameson Taillon, leading off the first game of Wednesday’s double-header at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pa., Taillon began the exchange by heaving in two balls and a strike.
Taillon then threw in a 95-mph two-seam fastball. Martin took a big hack at the offering, but fouled it off. The ball hit off the ground and then bounced straight back up into Martin’s groin. The Tigers outfielder immediately collapsed to the ground in pain.
Martin took a ball on the next offering. He hit Taillon’s next throw — another 95-mph fastball — to center field for a 419-foot home run. The ball left the ball park at 103.8 mph, according to Statcast.
“You don’t want to know about that conversation,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire told reporters. “That was not a very fun conversation for me or anybody else out there. I didn’t think his voice could get any higher, but it did. He wasn’t feeling very good, but he wasn’t coming out of the game, too.”
“He expressed that to me right from the start. ‘Don’t take me out. Don’t even think about it. Just let me gather myself.’ That’s what he did. And then he yelled at me again in the clubhouse after the game, ‘Don’t take me out of the second game either. I’m playing.’”
“It got me pretty good,” Martin said. “I stayed on the ground waiting for the pain to go away. They gave me my time. I didn’t want to come out of the game. I took my time waiting for the pain go away and I came back to play.”
Martin also made a sensational sliding catch later on in the game. He hit another home run in the second game of the double-header.
The outfielder went 2-for-6 in the first game and went 1-for-4 in the second game in Pittsburgh.