Familiarity with Texas' park aids Mariners' Martin

Familiarity with Texas' park aids Mariners' Martin

ARLINGTON -- For Leonys Martin, there is such a thing as home-field advantage, even when wearing a visitor's uniform at Globe Life Park. And the former Rangers center field used that familiarity to rob Texas outfielder Ian Desmond of a home run with a spectacular catch in Monday's loss.

Martin, acquired by the Mariners in an offseason trade, has made 219 of his 464 career starts in the Major Leagues at Globe Life. He's made 74 starts at Safeco Field, with the next-closest park being 33 starts at Angel Stadium.

So when Desmond drove a seventh-inning pitch from Arquimedes Caminero on a line to right-center, Martin knew exactly what needed to be done.

"Once I hit the warning track, I knew there was a chance I'd make that play," said the 28-year-old Cuban. "I like that spot right there, by the bullpen. That's the second time I made a play there. I did it about two years ago in that exact same spot.

Must C: Catch

"I love this park. I have a lot of confidence in this ballpark and I can see the ball really well. For me, Seattle is the best ballpark to play in center field, but when we're talking about comfort, I have a lot of confidence here. I know this park and how the ball carries."

And while he never played with Desmond, it doesn't hurt his feelings to make those kind of plays against the team he spent his first five seasons with in the Majors.

"I've got a lot of friends here," he said. "It's a game and you try to win, but the end of the day, you still have a lot of friends."

And two of his former teammates that he would really love to rob? Martin laughed and listed Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus.

"Those guys, I can't wait," he said with a smile. "Andrus always tries to run on me and be aggressive. I can't wait to throw that guy out at home plate. It will happen one day."

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.