Victor Martinez caught 110 games for the Red Sox last season and didn't want it forgotten.

When Martinez, 32, was asked Saturday night how often he thought he could play the position for the Tigers, he didn't hesitate to give a terse response.

"Well, the manager is over there," he said sternly, pointing to Tigers skipper Jim Leyland's office. "Go ask him."

Martinez clearly takes pride in his experience behind the plate and put it on display in a 3-1 loss to the Royals in his Comerica Park debut in the role.

The franchise's prize offseason acquisition, a veteran of 975 games over 10 seasons, guided left-hander Phil Coke to a respectable 6 2/3 innings of work.