Samy Camacho Rides King Guillermo to Victory at the Tampa Bay Derby

Samy Camacho has a royal weekend…

The Venezuelan jockey raced King Guillermo to victory at the Tampa Bay Derby by 4 3/4 lengths on Saturday for owner Victor Martinez, a five-time All-Star in Major League Baseball. The prize: $351,000.

Samy Camacho

Camacho’s 3-year-old colt earned 50 qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby. However, King Guillermo isn’t nominated to the Triple Crownseries, so Martinez would need to pay $6,000 by March 30 to get him in the Derby.

Martinez races as Victoria’s Ranch, a 2,400-acre cattle operation he founded in Florida after retiring from a 16-year baseball career in 2018. He paid $150,000 for King Guillermo, who won his first stakes race on Saturday.

Sent off at 49-1 odds, King Guillermo paid $100.40, $38.20 and $17.80. He has two wins in four career starts and earnings of $240,350.

Ridden by Camacho, King Guillermo ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.63.

Sole Volantewas second, and Texas Swingtook third.

Detroit Tigers Designated Hitter Victor Martinez Registers 2,000th Career Hit

And the hits just keep coming for Victor Martinez

The 38-year-old Venezuelan baseball player, a designated hitter and first baseman for the Detroit Tigers, reached 2,000 career hits on Friday night.

Victor Martinez

Martinez, heard the crowd roar and felt his heart swell, as he picked up the milestone hit on the same field where he began his MLB career, against the franchise that signed him as a teenager out of Venezuela.

Detroit’s switch-hitter singled in the second inning off Cleveland IndiansCarlos Carrasco to reach the plateau. After reaching first base, Martinez received a lengthy standing ovation from the large Cleveland crowd, fans that adored him during his eight seasons with the Indians from 2002-09.

Martinez hugged Detroit first-base coach Omar Vizquel, his teammate in Cleveland and a fellow Venezuelan, before tipping his cap to the crowd. Players on both benches applauded and the game was briefly halted to acknowledge the feat.

“It’s special to have it done here,” Martinez said following the Tigers’ 11-2 loss. “For me, it was even better. Nothing against the Indians, I feel like it’s where everything started for me. I will always remember this day, until I die. What the fans did to me with that ovation. It made me feel so proud and so good that they stand up for me. I just want to let them know too that I will always have the Indians in my heart, always.”

Martinez is the ninth active player to reach 2,000 hits, joining Ichiro Suzuki, Adrian Beltre, Albert Pujols, Carlos Beltran, Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, Matt Holliday and Jose Reyes.

To attain the milestone in Cleveland and with Vizquel, the career hits leader among Venezuelan-born players, at his side made it even more meaningful for Martinez.

“He congratulated me and told me it was awesome, and at the same time, I wasn’t hearing and stuff,” Martinez said. “It was a pretty cool moment.”

Martinez was a three-time All-Star with the Indians, who signed him in 1996. He broke down in tears when Cleveland traded him to the Boston Red Sox at the deadline in 2009 for three pitchers.

And although he’s had a long run with the Tigers, Cleveland will remain dear to Martinez.

“This is my seventh year in Detroit, but this was a place that I called home, and I’m always going to have Cleveland in my heart,” he said. “It was the team that gave me a chance to be a professional baseball player, gave me a chance to become a major leaguer. It’s a pretty special place.”

Martinez, too, is a pretty special hitter.

He entered the season with a .301 career average and the five-time All-Star has been one of the game’s toughest outs from the day he broke into the big leagues.

“There aren’t a lot of people who can say they got 2,000 major league hits,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “He probably grinded out every single one of those at-bats to get those hits. It’s something he should be proud of.”

Bautista to Captain the American League’s Home Run Derby Team

It’s batter up for José Bautista

The 33-year-old Dominican professional baseball player, a right fielder for the Toronto Blue Jays, will serve as the American League’s captain for the Home Run Derby.

José Bautista

Bautista, the 2010 and 2011 MLB home run champion and a five-time Major League Baseball All-Star, will have some star power on his team. He’s selected reigning derby champ and Oakland Athletics’ star Yoenis Cespedes, the Minnesota TwinsBrian Dozierand the Baltimore OriolesAdam Jones as the top three picks for his team.

They’ll face off a Nation League team that includes captain and Colorado Rockies star Troy Tulowitzki, and his top three picks: the Cincinnati RedsTodd Frazier, the Los Angeles DodgersYasiel Puig and the Miami MarlinsGiancarlo Stanton.

An additional fifth member will be named to each team on Thursday.

“Bunch of guys with a lot of power,” Tulowitzki said of his team. “More than that, I think they’re good guys, got to know them throughout the years.”

Stanton is the only player in the National League group that ranks in the top five in the majors in home runs with 21 entering play Tuesday night, but he is the NL-leader in the category.

That means that only one member of the remaining top five home run hitters in the league will be added to Bautista’s side. He has a choice of Baltimore’s Nelson Cruz (28), the Chicago White Sox‘s Jose Abreu (27) and Detroit TigersVictor Martinez (21).

Bautista’s Toronto teammate Edwin Encarnacion is third in the league with 26 home runs, but is currently on the disabled list. Martinez might also bow out of the running as he’s been held out of recent games due to injury.

Fellow Tiger Miguel Cabrera (14) and Los Angeles Angels phenom Mike Trout (20) have already said they will not participate in the contest, which will be held Monday night on ESPN from Minnesota’s Target Field.

Stanton, Tulowitzki (18) and Frazier (17) are all in the top five in homers in the National League along with the Chicago CubsAnthony Rizzo (18) and Philadelphia PhilliesMarlon Byrd (18).

Also a possibility for the final NL spot is Tulowitzki’s teammate and former Minnesota Twinsplayer Justin Morneau. Morneau is a candidate in the Final Vote to make the All-Star team.

“If he wins that final vote, there’s possibly a chance,” Tulowitzki said. “I think it would make a storyline. Played with the Twins all those years. He’s definitely on the list if he makes the team. There are some other guys as well that have lobbied and would be good choices.”

Peralta Propels the Detroit Tigers to Victory with a Ninth-Inning Home Run

Jhonny Peralta has managed to save the best for last…

The 31-year-old Dominican professional baseball player’s ninth-inning home run gave the Detroit Tigers a much-needed victory against the Boston Red Sox.

Jhonny Peralta

Peralta hit the two-run homer off Andrew Bailey in the bottom of the ninth to give the Tigers a 4-3 victory over the Red Sox on Thursday night.

Boston led 3-2 when Victor Martinez drew a leadoff walk off Bailey, and Peralta followed with a line drive over the fence in left field for his seventh homer of the year.

“I don’t try to hit a home run, but I try to have good contact with the ball,” Peralta said. “That’s what happened when I had good contact.”

Earlier in the game, David Ortiz homered and drove in a tiebreaking run with an eighth-inning single to put Boston up, but Drew Smyly (3-0) replaced Phil Coke for Detroit and prevented any further scoring by the Red Sox. He struck out four in two innings of relief.

Detroit improved to only 2-19 when trailing after eight innings.

But Peralta proved to be the hero with one swing and was mobbed at the plate.

“I see everybody at home plate, it’s a good feeling, hitting a walk-off home run,” Peralta said. “It’s the best that I can feel.”

Cabrera Leads the Tigers Past the Astros in Dramatic Fashion

Miguel Cabrera plays Superman in leading his Detroit Tigers past the Houston Astros.

The 30-year-old Venezuelan ballplayer hit two home runs, finished 4-for-4, and tied a career high with six RBIs to help lead the Tigers’ to a 17-2 mauling of the Astros on Saturday night.

Miguel Cabrera

Cabrera drove in six runs for the fifth time in his career. The last time was against Oakland on September 18, 2012. Cabrera has 10 hits in his last 20 at-bats over his past five games.

“I was feeling good out there today,” said Cabrera. “I was swinging the bat good, and when you swing the bat good, good things happen.”

Meanwhile, Torii Hunter had four hits and drove in two runs as every Tigers starter had a hit. Victor Martinez drove in four and had a two-run homer in the ninth. The 17 runs are the most scored by the Tigers since Sept. 4, 2011, when they had 18 against the White Sox.

“He’s awful good; that’s in the books,” Detroit manager Jim Leyland said of Cabrera. “Obviously, he’s a special player, but a lot of guys did well tonight. … We had a lot of guys that did some good things tonight. It’s one of those where you play a game every now and then where you hit it hard it falls in, you hit it soft it falls in. It’s one of those games.”