Everything appeared to be falling into place for the Red Sox on Monday night after Adrian Gonzalez delivered a go-ahead three-run homer off White Sox left-hander Leyson Septimo in the bottom of the eighth inning, plating David Ortiz and Carl Crawford, who was making his long-awaited season debut. However, the club was dealt another tough blow before Gonzalez even touched home plate.
Ortiz pulled up lame after rounding second base on Gonzalez’s blast and limped his way into home plate and the dugout. According to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald, the veteran slugger suffered a right Achilles injury and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Tuesday. Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said early indications are that he didn’t suffer a tear or strain, so the hope right now is that he’ll only have to miss a few games.
Ortiz was understandably frustrated after the game, saying, “This (expletive) team is cursed.” However, he later said, “I think I’ll be all right.”
Ortiz, 36, is hitting .316/.414/.609 with 23 home runs, 58 RBI and a 1.024 OPS in 89 games played this season.
The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.
In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.
The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.