Martinez comes off COVID list, hits 3 HRs as Red Sox top O’s

BALTIMORE — J.D. Martinez came off the COVID-19 list and hit three home runs, powering the Boston Red Sox past the Baltimore Orioles 14-9 Sunday for their sixth straight win.

Martinez got a chance at a record-tying fourth homer in the ninth inning and struck out swinging. He is the last of 18 major leaguers to homer four times in a game, doing it in September 2017 for Arizona.

The 33-year-old Martinez was back in the lineup one day after being placed on the COVID-19 injured list because of cold symptoms. He passed the required tests and went 4 for 6, driving in four runs and scoring four times.

This was the fourth time that Martinez has hit at least three homers in a game. A year after batting just .213 with seven home runs in 54 games during the pandemic-shortened season, he is hitting .472 (17 for 36) with five homers and 16 RBIs in eight games.

Martinez hit solo homers in the third, sixth and eighth innings. The three-time All-Star also had an RBI single.

Rafael Devers homered twice and Alex Verdugo added a three-run shot for the Red Sox, who completed a three-game sweep — Boston lost three in a row to Baltimore at Fenway Park to start the season.

Devers has homered in three straight games for the second time in his career. Boston entered the game ranked near the bottom of the American League with seven home runs.

Nick Pivetta (2-0) allowed four runs and seven hits with seven strikeouts and three walks over six innings.

Maikel Franco and Trey Mancini hit three-run homers for the Orioles. Ryan McKenna managed a triple in the sixth for his first major-league hit.

Boston took the lead on a three-run homer by Verdugo followed by a drive from Martinez off Jorge Lopez (0-2) in the third. Lopez allowed eight runs and seven hits over just four innings.

Baltimore shortstop Freddy Galvis was shaken up after being tagged out at the plate on a pitch that got just past catcher Christian Vázquez in the third, but he was able to stay in the game.

The Orioles cut the margin to 4-1 on an RBI single by Franco that scored Ryan Mountcastle, who led off the fourth with a double. The Red Sox responded the following inning on a single by Martinez and a three-run homer by Devers.

Martinez connected in the sixth for a 10-1 lead.

Mancini’s drive off Austin Brice cut the lead to 10-7 in the seventh. Martinez and Devers answered again for the Red Sox with homers in the eighth.


Red Sox: INF Michael Chavis was optioned to the team’s alternate training site to make room for Martinez. Chavis, however, will remain with the team on the road trip as a member of the taxi squad.


Red Sox: LHP Martin Perez (0-0, 5.40 ERA) will face his former team when he starts the opener of a four-game series in Minnesota beginning Monday. Perez went 10-7 with a 5.12 ERA for the Twins in 2019. LHP J.A. Happ (0-0, 2.25) gets the start for Minnesota.

Orioles: RHP Dean Kremer (0-1, 9.00 ERA) is slated to make his sixth career start Monday against Seattle. LHP Justus Sheffield (0-1, 7.20) will start for Seattle.


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