BOSTON -- J.D. Martinez ended what, for him, seemed like a long home run drought, clubbing No. 40 against the Astros on Sunday night.The three-run shot by Martinez in the bottom of the fifth against lefty Dallas Keuchel soared over the Green Monster and helped fuel the Red Sox to
BOSTON -- J.D. Martinez ended what, for him, seemed like a long home run drought, clubbing No. 40 against the Astros on Sunday night.
The three-run shot by Martinez in the bottom of the fifth against lefty Dallas Keuchel soared over the Green Monster and helped fuel the Red Sox to a 6-5 victory over the Astros.
Martinez, who became the first Red Sox player since David Ortiz in 2006 to hit 40 homers in a season, now trails Oakland's Khris Davis by one for the MLB lead.
"It's great," said Martinez. "It's humbling and stuff like that. It's awesome. It's a great achievement. But I don't know. I don't get caught up in it, really. I just worry about the next at-bat and the next team we're facing, and that's it. At the end of the season is when I sit back and can kind of talk about it, but right now we're in the grind, in the process. The season's not over."
The slugger had gone 28 at-bats without a homer, dating back to his last blast Aug. 30 against the White Sox. Martinez, who had a sacrifice fly in the first inning, leads MLB with 121 RBIs.
"He's been calling himself Luis Castillo lately, a lot of singles," said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. "Good pitch to hit, up in the zone. The conditions were tough today to hit the ball out of the ballpark. In that spot, especially with Dallas, he's down in the zone and middle in, and when you see a pitch up in the zone sometimes you get greedy and take a big swing and you miss it, but he didn't miss that one."
Martinez hasn't missed much of anything all season. Along with teammate Mookie Betts, he is right in the thick of the MVP race. Martinez is slashing .331/.402/.636.
"I mean, honestly, I don't look at all that stuff," said Martinez. "I'm just worried about the little things and just worry about the day to day and the process more than the results, really."
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.