Red Sox

J.D. Martinez becomes 18th player in history to hit four HRs in game

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J.D. Martinez becomes 18th player in history to hit four HRs in game

LOS ANGELES -- J.D. Martinez keeps doing damage and the Arizona Diamondbacks keep winning.

Martinez tied a major league record by slugging four of Arizona's six home runs, and the Diamondbacks routed the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers 13-0 on Monday night for their 11th straight victory.

"We were part of history," Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. "You can't believe it after it keeps happening - second, third and finally the fourth time. It was amazing. J.D. works as hard as anybody at his swing, perfecting his craft, and he deserves that moment."

Martinez was the headliner on a big night for a couple Diamondbacks.

Robbie Ray struck out a career-high 14 while helping second-place Arizona to its longest win streak since it also won 11 in a row from June 18-30, 2003.

"He has our number," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "He was exceptional."

Martinez is the 18th player in major league history to hit four homers in a game, and the 16th in the modern era. The team's six homers tied for the most in Dodger Stadium history by a visitor.

"I felt like it was one of those days," Martinez said. "I was seeing the ball well and when I was swinging, I was hitting it."

Arizona grabbed a 2-0 lead on Martinez's two-run shot off Rich Hill (9-7) in the fourth. Martinez added solo shots in the seventh and eighth innings before capping his power show with a two-run shot off Wilmer Font in the ninth.

Walking to the plate for the last time, Martinez recalled hitting three homers in a game in 2015 and thinking too much about a fourth in his final at-bat. He didn't get it.

This time, he told himself if a fourth homer was meant to be, it would happen.

"There's no point trying to force it," he said.

Martinez has 34 homers this season, including 18 since being traded to the D-backs from Detroit on July 18. He has six multihomer games in his career, with five coming this season.

The 30-year-old right fielder is still adjusting to NL pitching, too.

"It's pretty impressive to see a guy go out there and take four really good at-bats and hit four really long balls," Ray said. "I thought there was no way they were going to throw him something he could hit. But sure enough he got a ball right where he wanted it and he put it in the seats."

Report: Price help persuade Martinez to join Red Sox

Report: Price help persuade Martinez to join Red Sox

Despite what he termed "so much more negativity" in Boston, David Price helped convince former teammate J.D. Martinez to join the Red Sox, USA TODAY reports.

“It is tough here,’’ Price told USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale. "There’s just so much more negativity. I’ve never been one for negative stuff. I like surrounding myself by positive people. Even if my wife starts talking negatively, I let her know. I just can’t stand it.

“I can remember [Vanderbilt] coach [Tim] Corbin is always preaching that positive, positive word, positive vibe, positive environment. I feel like I’m the same way. I try to find the positive in everything.

“Sometimes, that’s tough.’’

Price, who played parts of two seasons (2014 and '15) with Martinez with the Detroit Tigers, had a warning about that tough environment the Red Sox' newest big-money acquisition is getting himself into:

"Oh yeah, he’ll get booed,’’ Price said, laughing. “I told JD he will love the guys here in this clubhouse, but also told him he’ll get booed. He’s a quiet, soft-spoken guy, but he’ll handle it. Besides, everyone gets booed. I heard Big Papi [David Ortiz] get booed many times in Fenway.

“I’m ready to turn that page, and start that new chapter.’’

Price reiterated some of the points he made when talking to the Boston media last week, mostly, that he's "learned a whole lot" after last season. And he's keeping a lower profile on social media.

“I don’t think I would have changed anything last year,’’ Price says, “but I learned the way not to do things. I learned a whole lot. I’m a leader. I need to lead better. I know that.

“I rarely get on social media anymore,’’ Price said. “There’s nothing but negativity, that’s all it is. I can tweet out John 3:16, and I’m going to get crushed. There’s no point. No point. I used to really enjoy it, especially Twitter, interacting with everybody. I thought that was the coolest thing ever. I really enjoyed it.

“Now, I go weeks without even opening Twitter. I can’t remember the last time I read mentions or used Twitter for anything. I definitely miss it. I miss the interactions with the fans. But I’m ok with it.’’

“I’ve never been through anything like it,’’ Price said of last season. “There was so much going on. So much. It was a very trying year.

“If I wasn’t making the amount of money I was making it probably wouldn’t have been a big deal. But I’m an easy target.’’

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE


 

BEST OF BST PODCAST: How J.D. Martinez signing impacts Red Sox

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NBC Sports Boston illustration

BEST OF BST PODCAST: How J.D. Martinez signing impacts Red Sox

0:41 - The Red Sox have made their splash in free agency as they sign slugger J.D. Martinez to a 5-year, $110 million. Evan Drellich and Lou Merloni discuss the addition and how it makes the Red Sox offense much deeper.

5:44 - Devin McCourty told NJ.com recently that the team knew Malcolm Butler wasn’t going to start in the Super Bowl. Albert Breer joins BST to discuss McCourty’s comments on Butler.

11:38 - Tom Giles, DJ Bean, and Joe Haggerty discuss the Bruins 2-1 win in overtime against the Flames and how they were able to bounce back after a 6-1 loss over the weekend. 

16:21 - Tom Curran, Kayce Smith, and Michael Hurley talk about why more people aren’t taking it seriously that Rob Gronkowski might retire.