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Porter wakes up Martinez, Astros

The SportsXchange

It's Bo Porter's team, Porter's vision and Porter's way.

The Houston Astros learned that throughout spring training. They were reminded of the first-year manager's unyielding mindset before the March 31 season opener, when Porter proudly displayed his bright orange "I'm All In" T-shirt before national TV cameras.

When the slumping Astros needed a wake-up call after losing five consecutive games on the way to a 1-6 record before a Tuesday matchup against the Seattle Mariners, Porter took his toughest public stand to date. The youngest manager in the majors pulled outfielder J.D. Martinez from a game Monday for swinging at a first pitch during the fourth inning, then forced the 25-year-old to himself explain his miscue to the media.

"From a baseball standpoint, I made a mistake (Monday)," Martinez said. "I had a mental error going up to the plate. It was totally my fault. I understand everything Bo did taking me out. I hold nothing against him, because what I did was unacceptable. It was a mental mistake that will never happen again."

A day after Porter's jab, the Astros finally woke up, via a 16-9 blowout of the Mariners at Safeco Field. A team that entered Tuesday's game ranked 28th or worse out of 30 teams in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage broke out for six first-inning runs.

A day after Porter called out Martinez, the outfielder was back in the starting lineup. The two held a private conversation discussing Monday's fallout. And while Martinez acknowledged Porter is the most direct manager he's dealt with in recent memory, the athlete has no issues with how the situation was handled.

"I'm not trying to say anything about Bo or say anything bad about anybody," Martinez said. "I should've been smarter and stuck with the plan."

The plan worked Tuesday. Martinez went 2-for-6 with an RBI single and his first homer of the season, a two-run shot.
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