Red Sox: J.D. Martinez crushes major league-leading 18th home run

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 14: J.D. Martinez
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 14: J.D. Martinez /

Boston Red Sox designated hitter J.D.Martinez crushed his 18th home run of the season against the Toronto Blue Jays to tie for the major league lead.

If you make a mistake to J.D. Martinez the Boston Red Sox slugger will make you pay.

Toronto Blue Jays starter Sam Gaviglio found that out the hard way. The right-hander threw a sinker that didn’t sink quite enough and Martinez made him pay. The towering shot was crushed an estimated 434 feet over the Green Monster.

The two-run blast broke up a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Red Sox would go on to win the game 6-4.

The home run was Martinez’ 18th of the season, tying him with Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout for the major league lead. He also now holds the lead in RBI to himself with 47.

This was Martinez’ 13th home run in the month of May. A Red Sox hitter hasn’t hit that many home runs in a single month since David Ortiz in July 2006. Big Papi would end that season leading the majors with a career-high 54 home runs. The last player in franchise history to hit 13 home runs in May was Jim Rice in 1978.

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Martinez now has 49 home runs since the All-Star break last season, the most in the majors over that span.

It has been an entertaining battle between Martinez and Mookie Betts for who can produce the most prolific power stats this season. Betts has been sidelined for the last few games with tightness in his left side, allowing Martinez to move ahead of him in the home run category. Betts still leads the league with a .359 average .750 SLG and 1.187 OPS. Martinez isn’t far behind. He, Betts and Trout are the top three on the list in most offensive categories.

The Red Sox lead the majors with 301 runs scored and their 82 home runs trail only the New York Yankees (87). The Bronx Bombers are living up to their reputation yet it’s the Red Sox who have the best 1-2 punch in baseball featured in their lineup.

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Martinez has been worth every cent of the lucrative contract he earned last winter. The holdovers from last year’s roster that finished last in the league in home runs have collectively improved in the power department. Still, this team wouldn’t be where it is today without the slugger leading the majors in homers.