Victor Martinez has no problem hitting from the right side of the plate.

The 36-year-old made that absolutely clear the last two days when he launched ball after ball over the left-field wall during batting practice at Comerica Park.

But can he do it from the left side, too? That remains to be seen.

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus acknowledged Saturday that he'll need to "be careful" with Martinez, who is only two months removed from undergoing surgery on his left knee after he tore the medial meniscus during an offseason workout.

"It's the knee on the load-side of his body when he's hitting left-handed," Ausmus said. "Right-handed, it's not (a problem). It doesn't bother him as much."

Martinez has avoided a stint on the disabled list this season, but his recovery has been slowed after seemingly tweaking his knee on several occasions, including a pinch-hit at-bat in the ninth inning Tuesday, which forced him to miss two games.

Martinez returned to the lineup Saturday to face Chicago left-handed starter Chris Sale, who had given up 15 hits in 30 at-bats and two homers to Martinez. It marked the first time Martinez had been penciled in the lineup since April 12.

He went hitless in three at-bats against Sale before being removed in the eighth inning for a pinch-hitter with right-handed reliever Kyle Drabek on the mound.

With the Tigers trailing the White Sox, 12-2, in the eighth inning, and given the situation, it made sense to remove Martinez from the game as a precaution.