Matthew Pouliot

Victor Martinez just struck out looking for the first time in a year

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Here’s a true rarity: Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez struck out looking against Astros right-hander Jarred Cosart to end the first inning of Monday’s game.

It was his first strikeout looking since Matt Albers, then of the Indians, got him on May 21, 2013.

Martinez had struck out 42 times since that date, but all were of the swinging variety. He had gone 579 plate appearances without striking out looking.

While Martinez has never been a big strikeout guy — his career high is 78, established in 2006 and matched a year later — he’s taken things to a new level this year. Monday’s strikeout was just his fourth in 96 at-bats and 110 plate appearances.