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.

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.