Martinez savors first at-bat before demotion

Martinez savors first at-bat before demotion

Martinez savors first at-bat before demotion
SAN DIEGO -- Luis Martinez made his Major League debut Friday night, and less than 24 hours later, he found out he was optioned back to Triple-A Tucson.

Martinez pinch-hit for Kyle Phillips in the seventh inning and finished the game at catcher, going 0-for-2 at the plate.

"It was a dream come true," he said. "Finally what I've been working for my whole life, finally happened last night. I was fortunate enough to make good contact both times, but unfortunately didn't get lucky enough to drop anywhere. But I felt great at the plate, behind the plate as well."

Martinez lined the first Major League pitch he faced -- a 94-mph fastball -- back to pitcher Jeremy Affeldt, who made a quick grab to snag it.

"I was looking for one spot, somewhere out over the plate, outer half, and it was there," Martinez said. "I was a little out in front of it, hit it off the end of the bat."

Martinez was recalled from Triple-A Tucson on July 8 and spent the next week soaking in the Major League atmosphere.

He said that waiting time helped him with his nerves when his debut came around.

"Surprisingly enough, I thought I was going to be very nervous, but I was fine," he said. "I was really excited to be there. A little nervous, excited, but very, very calm for the first time out there."

Martinez was hitting .313 with 18 RBIs and 17 runs in 38 games with the Tucson Padres, and the time he spent in San Diego will likely keep his motor running in order to make it back one day.

"Everything has been what they've talked about in the Minor Leagues and more," he said. "I definitely would love to be here for as long as I can, because this is the life and there's nothing else I'd rather do than be up here for a very long time."