Struggling Martin gets early jump on All-Star break

Struggling Martin gets early jump on All-Star break

BOSTON -- Russell Martin snapped a 0-for-30 slump on Saturday night, but the catcher was not in manager Joe Girardi's lineup in Sunday's series finale vs. the Red Sox.

With Sunday night's affair the final game before the All-Star break, the Yankees wanted the struggling catcher to forget about the first half of the season. Martin hit .179 with eight home runs and 21 RBIs in 68 games.

"It was a tough half for Russell, so I just gave him one extra day, and I told him, 'Come back from the break and be the player that you're capable of and put the first half behind you,'" Girardi said.

Martin broke out of his prolonged slump with a double to left field in his first at-bat on Saturday. It was his first hit since June 20. That made it a tough decision for Girardi to sit Martin in favor of Chris Stewart on Sunday.

"Yeah, I mean it's tough, because I know he's disappointed and he wants to play," Girardi said, "but I'm just trying to just put the first half behind us. With all the struggles that we've had and some individual struggles, we have 51 wins and that's pretty good. If our guys get back to where some of their numbers usually are, who knows how many wins we will get in the second half."

Did Martin show any signs of frustration during his slump?

"I can see sometimes in a guy's face -- not necessarily in his play but in his face -- that it's tough," Giradi said. "It's tough what he's went through, but at no time has he not been a team player, at no time has he not done his work. It's just been a tough first half."