One of the bigger pleasant surprises for the Texas Rangers this season as been the emergence and relatively consistent play of Cuban center fielder Leonys Martin, who quickly turned a center field platoon into an everyday gig and hasn't looked back since.
He's shown new life and breathed new life into a once-struggling offense since moving to the leadoff spot a month ago, but after injuring his ankle on Saturday night in Chicago, he missed Sunday's and Monday's games before returning to the lineup Tuesday and turning in an 0-for.
On Wednesday, against one of the game's top starting pitcher, Martin got back on track and started a merciless onslaught on Felix Hernandez that ended in a 12-4 Rangers win and a three-game road sweep.
Martin's three-run home run to the opposite field in the top of the second inning got the ball rolling, and Hernandez was pummeled after that, including an RBI double by Martin in the following inning. Hernandez couldn't record an out in the fourth inning before being removed in an 8-0 game.
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Martin is now hitting .269 after seeing his average drop more than 10 points over the last week thanks to a 1-for-19 stretch prior to Wednesday's game. He's got seven homers, 35 RBIs and is 29-for-37 on stolen base attempts this year. He's really come on since moving to the leadoff spot a month ago.