BALTIMORE – J.D. Martinez caught up in a hurry.
Martinez came off the COVID-19 list and hit three home runs, powering the Boston Red Sox past the Baltimore Orioles 14-9 Sunday for their sixth straight win.
Martinez struck out in the first inning and quickly made some adjustments.
“After that first at-bat, I felt like everything just kind of sped up on me,” Martinez said. “I went to the cage and I was like, ‘All right, we need to dial this up. We can get it going. Wake up.' After that, I felt a lot more in control and I felt really good."
The 33-year-old Martinez was back in the lineup one day after being placed on the COVID-19 injured list because of cold symptoms. He passed the required tests and went 4 for 6, driving in four runs and scoring four times.
Martinez got a chance at a record-tying fourth homer in the ninth inning and struck out swinging. He is the last of 18 major leaguers to homer four times in a game, doing it in September 2017 for Arizona.
This was the fourth time that Martinez has hit at least three homers in a game. A year after batting just .213 with seven home runs in 54 games during the pandemic-shortened season, he is hitting .472 (17 for 36) with five homers and 16 RBIs in eight games.
“He’s locked in. You can tell," manager Alex Cora said. "This is the guy I saw in (2018 and 2019), He has an idea of what he wants to do. He doesn’t deviate from his process. I think the last swing he was just hoping for a strike to see if he could hit it in the air. That wasn’t the case.”