J.D. Martinez hit two of Boston's four home runs, and six strong innings of four-hit pitching from Nathan Eovaldi, as the Red Sox beat the Rangers 6-1 Friday night at Globe Life Field.
Photo courtesy of the Associated Press
In the process, the Red Sox became the first team in the majors to reach the 17-win mark, hitting that on the final day of April.
It's probably not fair to put up comparisons to the 2020 COVID-shortened season, but the difference in what Martinez has done so far in the first 27 games of the season is striking. Having hit only seven home runs in all of last season, he has already crushed nine with a line of .351/.430/.745/1.175.
Eovaldi is a somewhat similar story. He appeared in nine games in 2020, posting a 4-2 record. He has the exact same record now in just six appearances. He has pitched into at least the fifth inning in every start, including two games where he got into the seventh. He's provided a solid presence at the top of the rotation that gives reason to believe that once Chris Sale comes back from injury later this summer, the Red Sox can sustain the momentum they've started the season with.
And while Martinez is leading the majors in home runs and runs batted in, don't overlook Rafael Devers who slammed his seventh homer of the year last night putting him in a tie for third. His 21 RBI's are also good enough for third, too.
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