J.D. Martinez is a Miami native, but the veteran slugger hasn’t enjoyed a ton of success playing in his home state as a member of the Boston Red Sox.
Entering Monday, Martinez owned a .266 batting average with four RBIs over the course of his games played in the Sunshine State in a Red Sox uniform, which included four trips to Tampa Bay and one to Miami. More surprisingly, none of the 13 hits Martinez had collected in Florida over the past year-plus were home runs.
This all changed in Boston’s series opener against the Rays when Martinez’s three-run blast in the third inning opened the flood gates for the visitors, who ultimately claimed a 9-4 win at Tropicana Field. Manager Alex Cora was quick to remind Martinez that he’d finally gotten off this unique schneid, which stretched outside of the regular season as well.
“I was joking with him, this is his first Florida home run playing for us,” Cora said, per MassLive’s Christopher Smith. “0-for-spring training back-to-back years. And none in Miami. None in Tampa last year or this year.”
Martinez will go for his second Florida homer Tuesday night when the Red Sox and Rays meet for the middle game of their highly important series.