Martinez, in an 0-for-18 slump, backed up his words by lining a two-out, two-run single to cap a seven-run ninth inning that gave the Indians an 11-10 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night.
"You never know what's going to happen," Martinez said after his hit off Jason Isringhausen (0-1) ruined the Rays night, which began with the much-awaited season debut of starter David Price. The left-hander was staked to a 10-0 lead but ran his pitch count up and lasted only 3 1/3 innings.
"When he came out, I said, 'Go out there and be a tough out, and just keep battling,' " Martinez said. "That's what we did."
The Indians became the first team to make up a 10-run deficit and win since the Texas Rangers rallied to beat the Detroit Tigers 16-15 on May 8, 2004, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
"When you do something like this, it is special," Indians manager Eric Wedge said.
It was the largest blown lead in Rays history. Tampa Bay had twice led games 10-2 before losing 20-11 each time -- to the New York Yankees in 2005 and Cleveland in 1999.
"I wanted to put the barrel of the bat on the ball and just happened to hit a home run," Garko said of his second homer. "The important thing was not making the last out. Nobody wanted to do that."
Jeremy Sowers (1-2) pitched five scoreless innings for the win in his first relief appearance after 51 career starts.
The loss was Tampa Bay's 14th in a row in Cleveland. The Rays have not won a road game against the Indians since a 1-0 victory on Sept. 28, 2005.
The teams combined to use 11 pitchers, who issued a total of 19 walks -- 10 by the Rays.
Isringhausen walked the first three men he faced, forcing in one run to make it 10-8. Martinez then lined a 3-2 pitch to center and was mobbed by teammates in Cleveland's biggest win of a disappointing season.
"The walks are unacceptable," Isringhausen. "I'd rather give up home runs than walk guys."
The Indians still have the worst record in the AL at 18-28 and are only 8-11 at home.
But Garko said he felt confident seeing Martinez at the plate with the game on the line. The catcher leads the Indians with 32 RBI and a .364 batting average.
"That's the guy you want up there in that spot," Garko said.
Price struggled with his command, walking five.
"He had great stuff, but was all over the place," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
Indians starter Fausto Carmona was even wilder. The right-hander unraveled in the second inning, walking the first four men he faced on 20 pitches and giving up five runs while registering only one out.
Gabe Gross hit a two-run homer and drove in three runs for the Rays.
Price struck out the side in the first after Jamey Carroll drew a leadoff walk and went to third on a bloop double by Grady Sizemore. But he couldn't complete the five innings required of a starter to earn a win. The left-hander gave up two runs and four hits, striking out six. He threw 100 pitches -- 57 for strikes.
"I was averaging 10 pitches an out," Price said. "I didn't have a feel for anything."
He didn't use sitting for long stretches as an excuse. The Rays twice batted around -- in their five-run second and three-run fourth.
"That's what you want as a pitcher, to score runs," Price said. "They gave me 10."
Price was recalled from Triple-A Durham, where he was 1-4 with a 3.93 ERA in eight starts. He started in place of Scott Kazmir, who went on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a strained right quadriceps.
Carmona gave up five runs and three hits with five walks in 1 1/3 innings. He has walked 35 and struck out 33 in 54 2/3 innings this season.
- Maddon got a three-year contract extension.
- Rays INF Akinori Iwamura will have surgery for a torn left ACL and is out for the season.
- The Rays put LHP Brian Shouse on the 15-day DL with a strained left elbow and recalled LHP Randy Choate from Durham.
- Rays SS Jason Bartlett, hitting .431 with 19 RBI in his past 16 games, did not play. He sprained his left ankle Sunday, but Maddon doesn't think the injury is too serious.