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Martinez’s clutch hit secures top wild card for Diamondbacks

PHOENIX (AP) – Of course it was J.D. Martinez who got the hit that secured home-field advantage in the wild-card game for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

He’s been getting big hit after big hit ever since coming over from Detroit before Major League Baseball’s July 31 trade deadline.

But, as he pointed out, the quest for a championship is only just beginning for the Diamondbacks.

Arizona Diamondbacks’ Brandon Drury, right, celebrates with a teammate in the locker room after clinching a National League Wild Card playoff spot after a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks defeated the Marlins 3-2. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

“This isn’t it,” Martinez said. “They only get bigger from here. In my opinion we are not in the playoffs yet. If we win that wild card then we are in it.”

Martinez lined a two-out RBI single to deep left field with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, lifting Arizona over the Miami Marlins 3-2 on Sunday to clinch the top wild card in the National League.

“J.D.’s been unbelievable,” first-year manager Torey Lovullo said. “How fitting that the guy you pick up in a big midseason push gets the big hit today. It makes everything very special.”

The Diamondbacks, who won only 69 games a year ago but are 90-66 this season, were already assured a playoff berth earlier in the day when St. Louis lost at Pittsburgh, and Milwaukee was beaten at home by the Chicago Cubs.

The comeback victory over Miami ensured Arizona will host the NL wild-card game Oct. 4.

The Diamondbacks think they’re ready for the tension of that elimination game.

“It’s one thing I’m going to keep saying: We just really get along, man,” said Archie Bradley, the bearded late-inning reliever and free spirit who has become a fan favorite. “We really do care for each other. We really do believe in each other. Something special’s going on here.”

Fernando Rodney (5-4) pitched a perfect inning for the win.

A throwing error by reliever Justin Nicolino (2-3) on Kristopher Negron’s sacrifice bunt helped load the bases with no outs in the Arizona ninth. Ketel Marte and Paul Goldschmidt each hit into a forceout at home. That brought up Martinez, who has been spectacular since joining the Diamondbacks. He sent Javy Guerra’s pitch on a line shot over the head of left fielder Marcell Ozuna to win it.

Giancarlo Stanton and Brian Anderson each doubled in a run for the Marlins.

Chris Herrmann homered for the Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks learned they had clinched a postseason spot halfway through the fourth inning with an announcement on the big message board.

It’s the sixth time Arizona has advanced to the postseason in its 20-year history. The other years were 1999, 2001 (World Series champions), 2002, 2007 and 2011.

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More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Arizona Diamondbacks' A.J. Pollock, left, and Daniel Descalso, right join other teammates as they celebrate clinching a National League Wild Card playoff spot after a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks defeated the Marlins 3-2. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Diamondbacks’ A.J. Pollock, left, and Daniel Descalso, right join other teammates as they celebrate clinching a National League Wild Card playoff spot after a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks defeated the Marlins 3-2. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo, left, Reno Aces manager Jerry Narron (57), pitching coach Mike Butcher, second from right, and hitting coach Dave Magadan, right, congratulate one another after it was announced the Diamondbacks clinched a playoff spot during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Phoenix. Both the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers lost their games, giving the Diamondbacks their National League Wild Card playoff spot. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo, left, Reno Aces manager Jerry Narron (57), pitching coach Mike Butcher, second from right, and hitting coach Dave Magadan, right, congratulate one another after it was announced the Diamondbacks clinched a playoff spot during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Phoenix. Both the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers lost their games, giving the Diamondbacks their National League Wild Card playoff spot. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Diamondbacks' David Peralta (6) applauds fans as they cheer along with mascot Baxter as it is announced the Diamondbacks earned a playoff spot during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Phoenix. Both the St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers lost their games, giving the Diamondbacks the National League Wild Card playoff spot. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Diamondbacks’ David Peralta (6) applauds fans as they cheer along with mascot Baxter as it is announced the Diamondbacks earned a playoff spot during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Phoenix. Both the St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers lost their games, giving the Diamondbacks the National League Wild Card playoff spot. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Diamondbacks' Paul Goldschmidt, left, tags out Miami Marlins' Dee Gordon, right, on a rundown during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Diamondbacks’ Paul Goldschmidt, left, tags out Miami Marlins’ Dee Gordon, right, on a rundown during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Diamondbacks mascot Baxter applauds along with fans as it is announced the Diamondbacks clinching a playoff spot during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Phoenix. Both the St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers lost, giving the Diamondbacks the National League Wild Card playoff spot. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Diamondbacks mascot Baxter applauds along with fans as it is announced the Diamondbacks clinching a playoff spot during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Phoenix. Both the St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers lost, giving the Diamondbacks the National League Wild Card playoff spot. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Diamondbacks' Chris Herrmann, right, points to the crowd as he arrives at home plate after hitting a home run as Miami Marlins' J.T. Realmuto, left, adjusts his catcher's mask during the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Diamondbacks’ Chris Herrmann, right, points to the crowd as he arrives at home plate after hitting a home run as Miami Marlins’ J.T. Realmuto, left, adjusts his catcher’s mask during the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Miami Marlins' Dan Straily, left, scores a run as Arizona Diamondbacks' Chris Herrmann, right, stands in front of home plate during the third inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Miami Marlins’ Dan Straily, left, scores a run as Arizona Diamondbacks’ Chris Herrmann, right, stands in front of home plate during the third inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Miami Marlins' Dan Straily throws a pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Miami Marlins’ Dan Straily throws a pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Diamondbacks' Patrick Corbin throws a pitch against the Miami Marlins during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Diamondbacks’ Patrick Corbin throws a pitch against the Miami Marlins during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Diamondbacks' Chris Herrmann, right, points to the crowd as he arrives at home plate after hitting a home run as Miami Marlins' J.T. Realmuto, left, adjusts his catcher's mask during the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Diamondbacks’ Chris Herrmann, right, points to the crowd as he arrives at home plate after hitting a home run as Miami Marlins’ J.T. Realmuto, left, adjusts his catcher’s mask during the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Diamondbacks' A.J. Pollock, left, and Daniel Descalso, right join other teammates as they celebrate clinching a National League Wild Card playoff spot after a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks defeated the Marlins 3-2. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Diamondbacks’ A.J. Pollock, left, and Daniel Descalso, right join other teammates as they celebrate clinching a National League Wild Card playoff spot after a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks defeated the Marlins 3-2. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

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