It would be wrong to say J.D. Martinez struggled through the first two months of 2016, but his .820 OPS was a level below the upper-.800 range he had shown over the previous the two seasons. When he hit at a 1.076 OPS clip for the first two weeks in June, it looked like everything was back on track until he ran into a wall in foul territory during a game in Kansas City and fractured his left elbow, forcing him to miss nearly two months. There were some concerns about his power upon return, but a dramatic eighth-inning home run against Chris Sale in his first at-bat back stomped that fear down. He got hits in each of his first five games back and 19 of 20 afterward. The bottom line was another 517 plate appearances that further solidify him as one of the game's premier power bats. He flirted with 40 homers back in 2015 before the power surge swept the league, and he remains a candidate to eclipse that mark in a full season.
Martinez went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer in the Tigers' 7-4 loss against the Indians on Monday. Martinez had been in a slump entering Monday, hitting .214/.303/.375 in his last 15 games. It was his 22nd home run of the year, a figure that is down significantly from the career high of 38 he set last year. But Martinez's .313 batting average is much improved, up from .282 in 2015.
Martinez went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI singles in Saturday's 7-4 loss to the Royals. The slugging outfielder brought home Cameron Maybin with both of his run-scoring hits, plating him to tie the score at 1-1 in the third and then driving him in to extend the Tigers' lead to 4-2 in the sixth. Martinez has three RBI over the last two games and is now hitting .269 (21-for-78) with three doubles, two homers and 11 RBI in September.
Martinez went 3-for-3 with a two-RBI single, walk and run in Friday's 4-3 victory over the Orioles. Martinez plated Jose Iglesias and Ian Kinsler in the fifth with his run-scoring hit, extending the Tigers' lead to 3-0 at the time. The slugging outfielder has torn the cover off the ball since returning from an extended DL stint in early August, with a .400/.455/.677 line that includes 12 doubles, eight homers and 19 RBI. The 29-year-old also has hits in six of his first seven games of September, and in nine of his last 10 overall.
Martinez went 2-for-4 with a solo homer and two runs Sunday against the Royals. After batting .404 in August, Martinez has continued to swing the bat well in September, as he's started out 4-for-12 along with his 20th homer of the season. He currently has the highest batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage of his six-year career.
Martinez went 2-for-4 with an RBI double and a run in Friday's 4-2 victory over the Angels. His sixth-inning run-scoring two-bagger was particularly timely, given that it erased a 1-0 deficit. Martinez now has six two-hit efforts in his last seven games and is slashing .414/.452/.713 over 87 August at-bats.