Victor Martinez heard the crowd roar and felt his heart swell.
Martinez singled in the second inning, a two-out liner to left off Tribe starter Carlos Carrasco in a game the Indians would go on to win, 11-2. Players on both benches applauded and the game was briefly halted to acknowledge the feat. What the fans did to me with that ovation. "I just want to let them know too that I will always have the Indians in my heart, always". It made me feel so proud and so good that they stand up for me. He joins Ichiro Suzuki (3,054), Adrian Beltre (2,975), Albert Pujols (2,901), Carlos Beltrán (2,681), Miguel Cabrera (2,589), Robinson Canó (2,295), Matt Holliday (2,056) and José Reyes (2,030) as active major leaguers with 2,000 career hits.
To attain the milestone in Cleveland and with Vizquel, the career hits leader among Venezuelan-born players, at his side made it even more meaningful for Martinez.
"He congratulated me and told me it was awesome, and at the same time, I wasn't hearing and stuff", Martinez said. "It's pretty cool. Whenever you see big league hitters miss the ball by 5 feet, that means he's doing something right".
The 38-year-old was a three-time All-Star with the Indians, who signed him in 1996.
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Michael Brantley had four RBIs, Lindor drove in three and rookie Bradley Zimmer homered for the Indians, who played their fourth straight game without manager Terry Francona.
"This is my seventh year in Detroit, but this was a place that I called home, and I'm always going to have Cleveland in my heart", he said.
While relegated strictly due to designated hitter this season, Martinez has slashed.256/.327/.374 entering Friday with six home runs and 33 RBIs. "It was pretty special the way the fans reacted".
"He probably grinded out every single one of those at-bats to get those 2,000 hits with his approach", Ausmus said.
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