The home run was a big moment for Martin, the only everyday Canadian-born player on the Blue Jays this season.
"The park is sold out, the crowd is electric -- it makes those moments stand out even more," said Martin, whose homer was No. 21 this season, matching a career high. "If the crowd wasn't as loud, it wouldn't feel the same. Definitely a good feeling for me. I know the boys enjoyed it."
The 32-year-old Martin performed the less celebrated but nonetheless valuable service of drawing a two-out walk an inning earlier to drive Yankees starter Ivan Nova from the game. Until that point, Nova had limited the Blue Jays to four hits and no runs. Martin would score later that inning on a Kevin Pillar single to break a scoreless tie.
"Russell's a free swinger, but he's got a pretty good eye at the plate," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He can draw some key walks. That's never been a problem with him. Guys that do that are very, very valuable to you."
Martin has proven to be an invaluable addition to the Blue Jays. A free-agent acquisition, Martin signed a five-year, $82 million deal with Toronto last November and has swung a powerful bat while shouldering a heavy workload behind the plate. On top of his regular catching duties, Martin took on the responsibility of catching knuckleballer R.A. Dickey for all but one month of the season, giving the team some roster flexibility so it didn't have to carry a third catcher.
"He's not going unnoticed, but he's probably not getting [the recognition] he deserves," Gibbons said. "He's having a tremendous year. That's why they got him."
Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.