Slumping Martinez slated to play on Sunday

Slumping Martinez slated to play on Sunday

PITTSBURGH -- Astros left fielder J.D. Martinez, who was out of the lineup for the third consecutive game on Saturday, will return to the lineup for Sunday's series finale against the Pirates, according to manager Brad Mills. Martinez has been given some time off while he's in a 1-for-31 slump.

"I plan on getting him in there [on Sunday]," Mills said. "I thought he looked good in early batting practice and regular batting practice [on Friday]. Just talking to him on the bench, he seems to be in a good place. I think he's OK. It's not a discipline thing at all. It's for him to take a breath a little bit. That's all."

Martinez, who's hitless in his last 21 at-bats, is champing at the bit to get back on the field.

"I've been itching the last two days to get out there," he said. "I just feel weird. I don't know what to do with myself when I'm sitting out. I'm ready to get back in there, getting that itch to get going and start hitting again."

Martinez has been doing extra work on the field and in the cage, but he says his problems are probably more between his ears.

"I feel like it's just in my head," Martinez said. "That's why Mills is giving me a couple of days, just to clear my mind."