Martinez con­tin­ues to an­chor of­fense

Connecticut Post (Sunday) - - Baseball -

BOS­TON — J. D. Martinez looked bad on a swing, went to the video, took some hacks in the cage and made sure he didn’t miss his pitch the next time up.

Martinez hit a tiebreak­ing two- run homer, David Price pitched six solid in­nings to win his fifth straight de­ci­sion and the Bos­ton Red Sox re­bounded from a se­ries- open­ing loss with a 4- 2 vic­tory over the Chicago White Sox on Satur­day.

“What­ever it is that I want to work on, I go in the cage and work on it be­fore my next at- bat,” said Martinez, who hit his team- lead­ing 21st homer. “I felt like early in the game I was jump­ing off my back side. I was just kind of go­ing into the cage and work­ing on stay­ing on my back side, not twist­ing.”

Af­ter look­ing com­pletely fooled with an awk­ward swing to strike out on a high, 93 mph fast­ball in the third in­ning, the slug­ger hit a hang­ing changeup into Bos­ton’s bullpen, push­ing the Red Sox ahead 4- 2 in the fifth. It marked a promis­ing re­turn to the lineup af­ter Martinez sat out Fri­day night’s 1- 0 loss to rest his achy back.

“I re­ally don’t feel like he’s got­ten that hot, as hot as I’ve seen him get,” said Price, who played with Martinez in parts of the 2014 and ‘ 15 sea­sons. “He can get hot­ter.”

Jackie Bradley Jr. added a solo shot for Bos­ton, which avoided ty­ing its sea­son­high three- game los­ing streak. The Red Sox on Fri­day with ace left- han­der Chris Sale on the mound.

Jose Abreu had an RBI dou­ble for the White Sox.

Price ( 7- 4) held Chicago score­less af­ter al­low­ing two runs in the first. He gave up five hits, struck out six and walked three, im­prov­ing to 5- 0 in his past six starts with a 2.89 ERA.

Craig Kim­brel pitched a per­fect ninth for his 20th save.

Car­los Rodon took the loss in his sea­son de­but, giv­ing up four runs — two earned — and six hits, strik­ing out seven and walk­ing two in five in­nings. The 24- year- old lefty started the sea­son on the dis­abled list af­ter left shoul­der surgery last Septem­ber.

“I was just happy to get through it and be healthy,” he said. “Ob­vi­ously wish I would’ve made some bet­ter pitches and got ahead of guys. I fell be­hind, led to some more pitches.”

Three of Chicago’s in­field­ers made an er­ror: short­stop Tim Anderson booted a grounder, and sec­ond base­man Yoan Mon­cada and first base­man Abreu each had one throw­ing.

“To be hon­est, I thought we just didn’t help him de­fen­sively,” man­ager Rick Ren­te­ria said.

Bos­ton had erased a 2- 0 deficit by scor­ing a run in the first and sec­ond. Bradley’s homer into the cen­ter field seats tied it af­ter Ed­uardo Nunez’s fielder’s choice grounder drove in a run.

Price gave up a run be­fore get­ting an out in the first when Abreu dou­bled off the Green Mon­ster af­ter a sin­gle and walk. Ke­van Smith’s ground­out scored the sec­ond run.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Red Sox: Man­ager Alex Cora said OF Mookie Betts ( 10- day dis­abled list, left ab­dom­i­nal strain) “ac­tu­ally felt bet­ter” af­ter tak­ing BP on the field. “If ev­ery­thing goes well, we’ll do it again to­mor­row,” Cora said. “He seems like now he’s gain­ing mo­men­tum.” The plan is likely for him to play a game on a re­hab as­sign­ment. … The news wasn’t as good for 2B Dustin Pe­droia ( DL, left knee in­flam­ma­tion). Cora said his base­ball ac­tiv­i­ties are be­ing “lim­ited.”

WORE BOTH SOXS

Hall of Fame catcher Carl­ton Fisk was the for­mer Red Sox player hon­ored in the mid­dle of the third in­ning. He played with Bos­ton from 1969- 80 and the White Sox from 1981- 1993.

Each game, the Red Sox show high­lights of a past star and have him on the video board if they’re in town.

Omar Rawl­ings / Getty Im­ages

Bos­ton’s J. D. Martinez, right, cel­e­brates with Ed­uardo Nunez af­ter hit­ting a two- run home run in the fifth in­ning against the Chicago White Sox on Satur­day.

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