Martinez turns #039;day off#039; into Indians win over Cincinnati

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 29, 2005

CLEVELAND (AP) - Despite getting the day off, Victor Martinez knew he might be needed as a pinch-hitter.

Martinez singled in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, leading the Cleveland Indians to a 4-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday.

''It was kind of a day off for me, but I stayed ready,'' said Martinez, who is 7-for-15 (.467) with five RBIs in his career pinch-hitting. Cleveland completed interleague play with a major league-best 15-3 record and improved to 22-10 overall since May 21.

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The Reds went 7-8 against the American League, but have lost 14 of 16 road games to drop to 7-26 away from home overall. Jody Gerut opened the eighth with a bloop double that fell in front of left-fielder Adam Dunn.

''As soon as he hit it, I froze,'' said Dunn. ''By the time I saw it, it was too late. The glare was bad the entire game.''

Gerut moved to third on a grounder, but could not score when Alex Cora grounded right to second baseman Rich Aurilia for the second out. Martinez, batting for Josh Bard, fouled off four consecutive 1-2 pitches from David Weathers (4-1) before hitting a 2-2 pitch between first and second to score Gerut.

''I kept throwing him sinker after sinker that he fouled off,'' Weathers said. ''I came in off the plate a little and he muscled it out there. It was a great at-bat.''

Martinez extended his hitting streak to eight games during which he has hit .464 (13-for-28) with nine RBIs.

''I'm feeling better, more comfortable swinging,'' said Martinez, a .284 career hitter who is hitting just .239 overall and went to the plate with only a .207 average from the left side this year.