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J.D. Martinez stays hot, homers against Orioles

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Red Sox outfielder J.D. Martinez wasn’t exactly a slouch in baseball’s first month this season, ending April with a .958 OPS. But he’s switched to a completely new gear in May. Entering Thursday night’s action against the Orioles, Martinez was hitting .356/.415/.763 with seven home runs and 14 RBI in 65 plate appearances this month.

Martinez stayed hot on Thursday, blasting a two-run home run to center field at Fenway Park off of Kevin Gausman.

Martinez has hit safely in 15 of 16 games and homered in eight of 16 games, which is pretty impressive. Martinez grounded into a double play and struck out in his next two at-bats, but the damage has been done.

Martinez didn’t sign as a free agent until late February, agreeing to a five-year, $110 million contract with the Red Sox. So far, so good.

Howie Kendrick to undergo an MRI after exiting game with a serious leg injury

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Update, 7:49 PM ET: The Nationals placed Howie Kendrick on the 10-day disabled list with a right Achilles injury. In a corresponding move, right-hander Jefry Rodriguez was recalled from Double-A Potomac.

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Nationals left fielder Howie Kendrick was removed from the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Dodgers after injuring his right leg. In the eighth inning, Kendrick tracked a Max Muncy sac fly to the wall, but landed strangely on his right leg and fell to the ground. Unable to put weight on it, he was forced to exit the field on a cart and was sent to undergo an MRI soon afterward, the results of which have yet to be revealed.

While the Nationals have not specified the nature or severity of Kendrick’s injury, Martinez revealed that it’s located in the “lower part” of the outfielder’s leg and appears to be quite severe. He’ll likely be placed on the 10-day disabled list in the next couple of days, though the recovery process could take even longer.

Prior to the incident, Kendrick was off to a hot start this season. Entering Saturday’s doubleheader, he carried a batting line of .302/.331/.477 with 18 extra-base hits and an .808 OPS in 157 plate appearances. He went 1-for-3 on Saturday with a base hit in the seventh inning. Andrew Stevenson subbed in for Kendrick following the injury and has been tabbed to start in left field for the second game of the doubleheader at 8:05 PM ET.