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Martinez, Hafner on schedule to return

Martinez, Hafner on schedule to return

CLEVELAND -- It will likely go down as the best 0-for-2 night Victor Martinez ever had.

Martinez returned to live baseball action -- albeit at designated hitter -- for the first time in more than two months on Friday night at Double-A Akron. The 29-year-old rehabbing catcher struck out, grounded out and walked in three at-bats.

He doesn't need to put up big numbers to prove he can come off the disabled list, though. All that matters is the strength in his elbow and sore left hamstring, which has bothered him since Opening Day.

Manager Eric Wedge said both Martinez and the also-rehabbing Travis Hafner looked good before Saturday's game against the Angels and are on schedule in their respective rehab programs.

Martinez will go back to Akron on Sunday and play as a designated hitter. Both Martinez and Hafner (sore right shoulder) will go to Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday. Martinez will catch for the first time while Hafner will DH. It will be Hafner's first live action since May 25.

Martinez has donned catcher's gear and practiced throwing throughout the week. Before Saturday's game, he made throws to second and third base.

"He had some good carry," Wedge said. "He just has to get the mechanics back and get in the position where he can spin the baseball and make his arm work. ... We have to try to get his shoulder going, too. It's not just the elbow.

Andrew Gribble is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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