Martinez in lineup, moves on from 'mental mistake'

Martinez in lineup, moves on from 'mental mistake'

SEATTLE -- Astros outfielder J.D. Martinez, who was pulled from Monday's game following his fourth inning at-bat, was back in the lineup Tuesday against the Mariners, starting in right field. Martinez was pulled for what he deemed a "mental mistake," and the outfielder said he and manager Bo Porter had a good talk.

Martinez swung at the first pitch in his fourth-inning at-bat and popped out, apparently chasing a pitch out of the strike zone. The Astros are preaching to the hitters to swing at good pitches and not to chase bad pitches, which only helps the opposing pitcher.

"Like I said yesterday to you guys, I understood the situation and we talked about it and put it behind us," Martinez said. "We still have a lot more games left to play and it's behind us and we're ready to move forward. Today's a new day.

"We settled it and [Porter] said, 'You're back in there today because it's behind us. Time to move forward.'"

Porter said he had Martinez in the lineup prior to talking to him earlier Tuesday.

"What happened yesterday was yesterday, and my decision was made yesterday and today's a different day and we're going to move forward," Porter said. "I think the message is consistent. I think the guys understand we're going to be fair and they understand the standards that have been set."

Martinez believes if the Astros can get out of their offensive funk, it will take a mounting burden off the hitters. Houston has scored nine runs in six games since an Opening Night win over Texas.

"I feel like there's a little bit of tension in the room," Martinez said. "You want to win, you want everything perfect. I think it's just go out there and play baseball, play for each other. They always say, 'Play for the guy behind you,' just going out there and enjoying it and having fun and getting the pressure and monkey off our backs."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.