LOS ANGELES -- The plan all along was for J.D. Martinez to play the outfield once the World Series shifted to Dodger Stadium and the Red Sox lost the designated hitter.
However, Martinez's sore right ankle has left some uncertainty about whether he will be able to play the outfield in tonight's Game 3. Boston leads the World Series, 2-0.
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"We'll see," said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. "Actually, he felt better today walking around. He got treatment on the way here. He'll get treatment [Friday] morning. In the afternoon, we'll make a decision."
If Martinez can't go, it will leave a big void in the middle of Boston's batting order. On the plus side, it would allow Cora to keep the highly athletic defensive trio of Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts together in the outfield.
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If Martinez does play, it's likely Bradley won't start and Betts will move to center.
One thing that is sure is that Betts will start in the outfield instead of second base. A couple of days ago, Cora called the chances of Betts starting a game at second in Los Angeles as "very slim." On Thursday, he ruled it out entirely.
"Well, he's not starting at second," Cora said.
In other words, Betts could find himself at second for an inning or two.
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As for Martinez, he rolled his right ankle on an awkward slide into second in Game 1, but was able to play through it. Martinez got the biggest hit of Game 2, a two-run single that snapped a 2-2 tie.
"It looked bad early in the game, but then it seemed like it was moving better towards the end," Cora said. "We'll make a decision whenever -- he'll let us know."
Dodger Stadium is familiar territory for Martinez, who played in the NL West in 2017 as a member of the D-backs. He recorded a four-homer game there on Sept. 4, 2017. It was the 18th (and most recent) four-homer game in MLB history.