BOSTON (CBS) — A rough night for J.D. Martinez seemed like it would never end. Until the Red Sox DH brought Tuesday night’s wild tilt with the Tampa Bay Rays to a walk-off finish in extra innings.
Martinez lifted Boston to a 6-5 victory with a two-run, walk-off double in the bottom of the 12th, propelling the Red Sox to the team’s second straight victory. It was his second two-bagger of the night, as Martinez finished 2-for-6 on the evening.READ MORE: Hall Scores Again, Swayman Solid As Bruins Blank Islanders
His first double came in the eighth inning, which scored Alex Verdugo to bring Boston to within 3-2 at the late venture of the game. But just a few moments later, Martinez lost track of how many outs were in the inning and was doubled up on a lineout to center by Rafael Devers, ending a potential Boston rally. It didn’t hurt as much after Christian Vazquez launched an absolute moon shot in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game 3-3, but the gaffe didn’t sit well with Martinez.
He had a chance for redemption in the bottom of the 10th, with Kiké Hernandez sitting on third base as the game-winning run and and just one out. All Boston needed was a sac fly from Martinez, but he grounded out to shortstop Willy Adames instead, keeping Hernandez on third. Boston’s scoring threat ended one batter later when Xander Bogaerts struck out to end the inning.
But then Martinez stepped to the plate in the 12th and totally redeemed himself. With Boston trailing 5-4, he stepped up with two runners on and sent both of them home, ripping one to the opposite field that soared over Randy Arozarena’s outstretched glove in right field.
Euphoria erupted at Fenway Park as the Red Sox celebrated their first walk-off win of the young season. After temporarily being the game’s goat (and not the good kind), Martinez walked off the hero.READ MORE: BAA, Doug Flutie Team Up To Make Boston Marathon More Inclusive
“It felt good to come through there in that situation,” he said after the win.
The only question on his game-winning knock was whether or not it would get over Arozarena in right. Given the night he had up to that point, Martinez sounded like he was half expecting the right fielder to make an incredible play on the ball.
“I don’t know. You never know. It’s Fenway in the winter. I feel like you never know if the ball is going to go or not,” he said. “It was just enough, I feel like. I think he had to play it exactly how he played it. Winning run is on second base, he’s got to shade in on that.
“That’s pretty much the only ball that could beat him there,” Martinez explained.
Martinez has been stellar for the Red Sox through the first give games of the season, collecting at least one hit in each game and multiple hits in four straight. He leads Boston in every offensive category with a robust .457 batting average, 10 hits, nine RBIs and a pair of homers.MORE NEWS: Red Sox Game Vs. White Sox Postponed Due To 'Winterlike Conditions'
And just like he’s put a tough 2020 season behind him, Martinez put a tough stretch behind him on Tuesday night. In both cases, it has led to some great things for the Boston Red Sox.