J.D. Martinez will make his 2021 postseason debut Friday as the Boston Red Sox look to redeem themselves in Game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Martinez, who missed the Wild Card Game and Game 1 as he recovered from an ankle sprain suffered in the regular season finale, will be a welcome addition to a Red Sox lineup that struggled to capitalize offensively in Thursday’s opener.
He will bulk up the bottom of the lineup, batting sixth as the designated hitter.
Elsewhere, there were quite a few changes in terms of the batting order.
Kyle Schwarber, who was the designated hitter in Martinez’s absence Thursday, moves back to first base and will bat leadoff. As a result, Bobby Dalbec — who hit seventh — will move to the bench, and Hunter Renfroe will follow Martinez in the order.
Kiké Hernández, who led things off Thursday, drops to second in the order but remains in the outfield. Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts switch places at the plate, with Devers going third and Bogaerts batting cleanup.
Alex Verdugo will bat fifth, up from sixth Thursday.
Chris Sale is Boston’s starting pitcher. He posted a 2.79 ERA in 9 2/3 innings with nine strikeouts and three walks in two starts against the Rays in 2021.
NESN will air full pregame coverage of Red Sox-Rays Game 2, starting at 6 p.m. ET. First pitch from Tropicana Field is scheduled for 7:02 p.m., and FS1 will air the game. Be sure to return to NESN immediately after the final out for postgame coverage.
On the go? Stream NESN’s pregame and postgame coverage on Watch NESN Live.
Here are the full lineups:
BOSTON RED SOX (0-1)
Kyle Schwarber, 1B
Kiké Hernández, CF
Rafael Devers, 3B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Alex Verdugo, LF
J.D. Martinez, DH
Hunter Renfroe, RF
Christian Vázquez, C
Christian Arroyo, 2B
Chris Sale, LHP (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
TAMPA BAY RAYS (1-0)
Randy Arozarena, LF
Wander Franco, SS
Brandon Lowe, 2B
Nelson Cruz, DH
Yandy Díaz, 3B
Jordan Luplow, 1B
Manuel Margot, RF
Mike Zunino, C
Kevin Kiermaier, CF
Shane Baz, RHP (0-0, 0.00 ERA)