Martinez out of lineup, could get few days off

Martinez out of lineup, could get few days off

HOUSTON -- Astros manager Brad Mills kept struggling left fielder J.D. Martinez out of the starting lineup for Wednesday's series finale against the Marlins, and said he might give him a few more days off. Martinez entered Wednesday in a 1-for-30 slump.

"It's not a punishment," Mills said. "I'm just going to give him a couple of days. This will get me a chance to get [Justin] Maxwell some at-bats, and [Travis] Buck's gotten a few at-bats. But more than anything else, it will let him take a breath and get the feel back of maybe being stronger and so forth. I'm not going to sit here and put that in stone. We'll just let him relax a little bit and go from there."

Martinez burst onto the scene last year after being called up from Double-A Corpus Christi when Hunter Pence was traded in late July. He hit .274 with six homers and 35 RBIs, including an Astros rookie record 28 RBIs in the month of July.

Martinez got off to a nice start this year, and was hitting .313 with three homers and 18 RBIs and a .432 on-base percentage before beginning his slide.

"He wants to play every day, and most of the guys [who aren't in the lineup] aren't going to understand, and that's fine," Mills said. "I love him to death. We all love him to death with what he did last year and the first part of this year and what he's capable of. Let's allow him to go through the process. That's where I'm at."