Pedro Martinez allowed five runs _ four earned _ and three hits in five innings of a rehab start Friday night for the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Philadelphia Phillies' top minor league affiliate.
Using a fastball that reached 93 mph on the stadium radar gun and an effective changeup, Martinez breezed through four innings against the Columbus Clippers, allowing only one run. He then gave up four more in a 35-pitch fifth.
"To me, it felt great," he said. "The results may not look like everybody wanted, including me, but I feel it was a very positive day."
Martinez threw 84 pitches total, striking out four and walking three, in what could be his final rehab start before joining the defending World Series champion Phillies.
Clippers center fielder Michael Brantley smacked Martinez's second pitch over the right-field wall, but the 37-year-old right-hander maintained velocity on his pitches throughout his outing. He recorded many outs on changeups and struck out Jordan Brown to end the fifth.
"I felt good on that last pitch. I popped some fastballs that I was really pleased with," Martinez said. "The changeup is a reflection of the fastball. If the fastball is good, the changeup is going to look even better. It confused a lot of people. The curveball is getting better, too.
"I know I'm not too far away from what I want to achieve. One more out could make the difference between a good, good outing and an average outing. I'm healthy and it shows. I didn't lose anything pitching out there, except from the stretch."
He said he wasn't tired in his final inning.
"It wasn't fatigue because I felt that once I got back to the full windup, I felt in command again," Martinez said. "The stretch position gave me a little bit of a hard time, which is common for a guy who hasn't pitched very often."
Martinez signed a one-year deal with the Phillies on July 15 and was immediately placed on the disabled list due to a right shoulder strain. His first rehab appearance, for Class A Clearwater on July 26, lasted only 1 1-3 innings because of rain.
Martinez has a career mark of 214-99 with a 2.91 ERA. He went 5-6 with a 5.61 ERA in 20 starts last season for the New York Mets.
The Philadelphia rotation has gotten more crowded after this week's acquisition of Cliff Lee, the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, who came over from the Cleveland Indians. It's unclear if the Phillies still plan to use Martinez as a starter or turn him into a reliever.
Those decisions will be made by Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. and manager Charlie Manuel once Martinez is ready again for the majors.
"I don't know how the bullpen stuff is working over there," Martinez said. "I want to get to the point where I have command of all my pitches. I'm not going to put any pressure on Ruben or Charlie. I'm an employee, and you do what your boss tells you to do.
"As far as I know, they brought me in to start games."
In March, Martinez pitched for the Dominican Republic team in the World Baseball Classic, working six innings of scoreless relief in two games.