Ahead of Monday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora announced he would shuffle the lineup in an effort to get more going in front of J.D. Martinez.
And the moves worked. The new-look Red Sox upended the Blue Jays 13-4, and Martinez was one of the most productive players in the game. Batting fifth as the designated hitter, Martinez went 4-for-4 with a double, a walk, two runs and one RBI.
As the Red Sox readied to play Toronto again Tuesday, Cora praised Martinez for his recent work at the plate.
“He’s just a good hitter, a guy that keeps working at his craft,” he told reporters in a pregame Zoom conference. “He does a lot of things for us as a group, as far as preparation, helping others out. We’re just very proud of him, very happy where he’s at right now offensively. He’s been able to control the strike zone the last three weeks and good things are happening right now.”
Giving credit where it’s due, Martinez acknowledged the change while speaking to NESN’s Jahmai Webster postgame Monday.
“He kind of looks like a genius tonight,” he said. “We were all joking about it in the dugout like, ‘Alex pulled out his crystal ball for this one.’”
The star has been a bright spot for a Red Sox team that had been a bit lethargic, having dropped its last three series and winning just two of its last eight games before Monday. Through that stretch (dating back to July 5), Martinez hit .324 with two home runs and seven RBIs.
Martinez enters Tuesday hitting .305 with 19 home runs and 63 RBIs. He’ll bat fifth once again, sandwiched between Rafael Devers and Alex Verdugo.
First pitch is at 7:07 p.m. ET.
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