DETROIT -- The first reaction from Tigers fans whenever Victor Martinez slides home on a play at the plate is going to be the same: How's the knee?
After a 2012 season lost to knee surgery, it's a natural reaction, not just from fans but from team officials. But it's not going to stop the Tigers from being aggressive with him rounding third on base hits.
With that in mind, manager Jim Leyland said he had no problem with third-base coach Tom Brookens' decision to send Martinez home Tuesday night on Andy Dirks' single to right. A high, arcing throw from Chris Parmelee beat Martinez home just enough for catcher Joe Mauer to make a swipe tag as he slid by.
"It was a no-brainer. He should have been sent home, and he was sent home," Leyland said. "He was out, but he should have been sent home, without question."
That doesn't mean Martinez doesn't warrant special consideration, Leyland said. When Jeff Francoeur easily threw out Martinez at the plate earlier in the homestand, by enough of a margin that Martinez simply veered back towards the dugout, Leyland said Brookens had made a mistake.
Still, there's a balance.
"That's one of the arts of being a good third-base coach," Leyland said.