Martinez was a mainstay of the Orioles bullpen for nearly 10 seasons, leading the club in saves five times and saving at least 10 games each year from 1980 to 1984, with a career-high 21 in 1983. Originally drafted by the Senators, Martinez reached the majors with the Yankees in 1974, then was traded to the Orioles on June 15, 1976 in a ten-player deal that sent Rudy May, Scott McGregor, Rick Dempsey, and Dave Pagan to Baltimore in exchange for Ken Holtzman, Doyle Alexander, Grant Jackson, Elrod Hendricks, and Jimmy Freeman.
Martinez was primarily a set-up man for Don Stanhouse in 1978-79, then became Baltimore’s lefthanded closer in 1980, teaming with Tim Stoddard and later Sammy Stewart to give the Orioles an effective lefty-righty bullpen combination. He won the final game of the 1983 ALCS with four shutout innings in relief and saved 17 more games in 1984, but his ERA swelled to 5.40 in 1985 and 5.63 in 1986. A comeback with the 1988 Twins lasted only four innings.