Martinez Struggles Horribly In Second Start | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Martinez Struggles Horribly In Second Start

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    Nick Martinez #22 of the Texas Rangers walks off the mound at the end of the fifth inning during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays on June 26, 2015 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

    It's true, Chi Chi Gonzalez wasn't efficient in his second spring outing as the leading candidate to start the season as the Rangers' No. 5 starter until Yu Darvish makes his return from Tommy John surgery by early June.

    But his main competition, Nick Martinez, was awful in his second outing, perhaps giving Gonzalez an even bigger leg up in the race to open the season in the starting rotation.

    Martinez was scheduled to pitch three innings in a game against the White Sox, but couldn't even record an out in the third as he gave up seven earned runs on seven hits while having some serious trouble commanding his fastball. He allowed five extra-base hits on the day.

    "It's getting behind and too many two-ball counts," Rangers skipper Jeff Banister told reporters after the game. "You've got to zero in on the strike zone. He's got to get the fastball back in play."

    Martinez has spent significant parts of the last two seasons in the Rangers' rotation and has a career 4.27 ERA with a 12-19 record. He started 2015 on a hot streak but then trailed off and ended up falling out of the rotation.