MIAMI -- They were in full force down in the left-field seats at Marlins Park, waving signs and wearing Astros jerseys. The family and friends of Miami native J.D. Martinez, who hit the first home run in the history of the new ballpark on Friday, numbered 150 people on Saturday.
Mayra Martinez, J.D.'s mother, was directing traffic in the stands before the game, making sure everybody was sitting where they were supposed to be sitting. She said watching her son hit the first homer in the ballpark in their hometown was special.
"We were all thrilled," she said. "This has been such an emotional experience. This is what we wanted, and he's worked so hard for it, and we're very, very proud of that."
Martinez said playing a Major League game in his hometown was the thrill of a lifetime.
"I was just as nervous as I was in my first at-bat [in the Major Leagues], and I just had to calm down a little bit," he said. "I just was really excited about that one last night, because I knew what it meant. Everyone was telling me, 'You have a chance to do it.' It was really exciting."
The home run landed in a club area in left field, and Martinez wasn't able to retrieve it.
"I got a call today from a friend that says he knows the guy that caught the ball and wanted to know if I wanted to do some kind of trade for it," he said. "How do you know it's the real thing or not? I'm not really too into it. I don't care. It's more about the meaning of it."
Mills trying to juggle taxed Astros bullpen
MIAMI -- Astros manager Brad Mills was going to have to skillfully juggle his bullpen following Friday's 11-inning loss to the Marlins in which three relievers -- Fernando Rodriguez, David Carpenter and Wilton Lopez -- threw two innings each.
What's more, closer Brett Myers and left-hander Wesley Wright had both warmed and were ready to come into the game at some point.
"We're going to talk to them during batting practice [Saturday] and see where they're at," said Mills, who began the season with eight relievers, but has only seven now. "I can't envision any of them [who threw two innings] going more than a couple of hitters."
Mills said one of the things he likes about having Myers in the bullpen this year is his ability to handle a big workload. Myers made 66 starts for the Astros over the previous two seasons.
"That's one of Myers' biggest assets as a closer is he can throw all the time," Mills said. "It's not an issue. It could be an issue if it goes over an extended period of time, but he'll be OK tonight."
Hamilton adds Marlins Park to long list
MIAMI -- It's another one in the books for Hall of Fame broadcaster Milo Hamilton.
Hamilton, who announced earlier this year he was stepping down at the end of the season as the club's full-time radio voice, is with the Astros this weekend at Marlins Park, which is the 59th Major League ballpark in which he has called a game.
"It's really nice," Hamilton said of the ballpark. "It's got a lot of glitz, and from a standpoint of coming to the old park many times, which was in no way suitable for baseball, it's nice to see a game in a baseball park and have your team be able to take batting practice. It rained every day at 5 o'clock in the old park."
Hamilton, 84, will call a game from his 60th ballpark next year, because he plans to travel with the team to Detroit's Comerica Park in the Astros' first season in the American League. He hasn't ruled out going to Target Field in Minnesota, either, which would give him 61.
"That would be nice, because it would give me all three of the parks in that city," he said of going to Minneapolis.
Hamilton plans to take one more road trip this season. He wants to fly to St. Louis at the end of year and call a game from the city in which his Major League career started in 1953 with the St. Louis Browns.
Luhnow eagerly awaits World Series ring
MIAMI -- The St. Louis Cardinals players, coaches and front-office officials received their World Series championship rings on Saturday in a ceremony at Busch Stadium. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow, who came from the Cardinals, will have to wait for his.
Luhnow is one of four Astros employees who will get rings from the Cardinals, along with bench coach Joe Pettini, director of decision sciences Sig Mejdal and special assistant to the general manager/scout Mike Elias.
"[Cardinals general manager John Mozielak] mentioned that when maybe St. Louis comes to Houston, he may come on the trip and present them," Luhnow said. "I'm not sure what the plan is, but I'm anxious to get mine."
The ring will be the eighth Luhnow earned during his tenure with the Cardinals -- two World Series titles, a National League championship and five Minor League championships.
"I'm trying to figure out how to display them or have a rotation to use them, but right now, they're safely guarded under lock and key," he said.
Pettini said he told former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa to get him his ring whenever he gets a chance, but he said he's going to give it to his 3-year-old granddaughter.