Playing center, Martin gets first start since callup

ARLINGTON -- Leonys Martin started in center field for the Rangers on Tuesday, the first time he has been in the lineup since being recalled from Triple-A Round Rock at the beginning of September.

Martin was up with the Rangers from June 15 to July 30 while Mitch Moreland was on the disabled list and from Aug. 17-20 while Michael Young was on paternity leave. His last start was on July 28 against the White Sox.

"Coming up from Triple-A and swinging the bat well, I just haven't been able to get him in a game," manager Ron Washington said. "I hope he is my secret weapon tonight."

The Rangers signed Martin on May 4, 2011, after he defected from Cuba. He has played in 26 games at the Major League level and hit .217 (10-for-46) with four doubles, two triples and five RBIs. He was also a September callup in 2011.

He has played in 128 games in the Minor Leagues over the past two seasons and batted .323 with 101 runs, 34 doubles, seven triples, 16 home runs, 84 RBIs and 29 stolen bases in 533 at-bats. He has .388 on-base percentage and a .503 slugging percentage. He hit .379 with seven home runs in 24 games in August.

"I feel better than last year, especially in Triple-A," Martin said. "I feel confident I can do a good job."