Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez back in lineup vs Rays

National Sports

Boston Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez watches his ball as he hits a solo home run off Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Zac Lowther during the second inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez was back in Boston’s starting lineup for Game 2 of their AL Division Series against Tampa Bay on Friday night.

Martinez was slated to bat sixth as the designated hitter after missing Tuesday’s night’s AL wild-card win over the Yankees and Thursday’s 5-0 Game 1 loss to the Rays due to a sprained left ankle.

Over his previous 21 postseason games, Martinez is hitting .286 (22 for 77) with six homers and 20 RBIs.

Martinez stumbled over second base while heading to the outfield in Sunday’s regular-season finale at Washington. Without the DH in National League parks, Martinez played right field against the Nationals. He stepped on the bag and twisted the ankle heading out to play defense in the fifth inning.

It was only the seventh time this season that Martinez started in right. He was the starting DH for 113 games, with 28 in the left field.

Martinez hit .286 with 28 homers, 99 RBIs and an AL-leading 42 doubles during the regular season.

About one hour before first pitch, MLB approved Boston’s substitution of reliever Matt Barnes for right-hander Garrett Richards on the ALDS roster. Richards, who got one out in Game 1, has a strained left hamstring.

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