J.D. Martinez has had a four-homer game, but seven RBI? That was unchartered territory.
Until Friday night in San Diego.
Martinez hit a pair of three-run homers and had a sacrifice fly in the Red Sox' 11-0 romp over the Padres at Petco Park. The seven runs driven in were a career-high for Martinez, who became the first Boston player to do it since Mookie Betts had eight in 2017, the same season Martinez had a four-homer game for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
"I'm always just grinding and trying to figure out what adjustment I have to make, how to tweak my swing to get it where I want it to be for that game and that pitcher," Martinez told reporters after the game.
He also wanted to talk about the hitting exploits of his teammate, pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez, who reached on an error, scored his first major league run and laid down a sacrifice bunt in addition to his seven innings of shutout pitching.
Martinez wasn't complimentary.
"I mean, he's bad," he said of E-Rod at the plate. "I think the catcher was laughing at him at home plate today. That's what he was saying: `You can't hit, man, not with that swing.' "
Rodriguez won his career-high 15th game as the Red Sox, fighting for the playoff lives as they open an eight-game Western swing, closed to 6 1/2 games back of the second AL-wild card spot.
And they did it wearing the all-black road uniforms (home teams wear all white) for MLB's Players Weekend, in which nicknames can be substituted for last names on the backs of jerseys - Rodriguez went with his childhood moniker of "El Gualo" and Martinez with "Flaco" - and specially designed cleats can be worn.
The Red Sox had been swept in their previous two Players Weekend series in 2017 and '18, so Friday marked their first victory in seven tries wearing the funky unis. Martinez had a slightly better review of the new threads than former Sox manager Terry Francona of the Cleveland Indians.
“I like them, I guess,” Martinez told The Boston Globe. “I had a good game in them. If I do that tomorrow I might not take them off.”
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