What J.D. Martinez Told Himself Before ALCS Game 2 Grand Slam

The Sox didn't look back after Martinez's slam


J.D. Martinez and the Red Sox set the tone early Saturday afternoon at Minute Maid Park.

Boston loudly rebounded from its Game 1 loss to Houston in the American League Championship Series. And it all started with Martinez, whose first-inning grand slam set the wheels in motion for the visitors.

Martinez did not feel much weight on his shoulders as he stepped into the batter’s box for his first Game 2 at-bat. The veteran slugger felt the pressure entirely was on Astros starting pitcher Luis Garcia, who labored through the opening frame.

“…It’s a tough spot for him,” Martinez told reporters after Boston’s 9-5 win, as transcribed by ASAP Sports. “He had bases loaded. Credit to the guys before me, to Dugie (Alex Verdugo) and (Rafael) Devers, who grinded out really tough at-bats and drew the walks there to give me that chance. But that situation, the pressure is on him, it’s not on me to come through there. It’s the first inning. He has bases loaded. I’m trying to tell myself that, trying to stay relaxed and just looking for a pitch so I can just put a barrel on it.

“He is kind of tough. He creates some unique angles when he pitches. He spins the ball really well. Just trying to see something deep and just put a good swing on it really.”

Martinez did, indeed, put a good swing on it, much like Devers did in the second inning when the third baseman roped a grand slam of his own. The pair of round-trippers proved to be the difference in the second contest of the best-of-seven series.

The ALCS resumes Monday when the Red Sox host the Astros for Game 3.

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