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J.D.'s MLB-best 24th HR ties Red Sox record

Martinez matches Williams, Canseco, Vaughn and Ramirez for most homers through June
MLB.com

BOSTON -- J.D. Martinez slung his backpack over his shoulder and started to slip out of the Red Sox clubhouse, but a reporter stopped him for an interview.

"What did I do?" Martinez asked.

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BOSTON -- J.D. Martinez slung his backpack over his shoulder and started to slip out of the Red Sox clubhouse, but a reporter stopped him for an interview.

"What did I do?" Martinez asked.

View Full Game Coverage

He hit another home run -- his 24th of the season in the Red Sox's 9-1 win over the Angels on Tuesday, giving Martinez sole possession of the MLB home run lead. Too many for him to escape unnoticed.

"He keeps working at it," manager Alex Cora said. "He missed the last one and that shows you a lot. He doesn't want to give at-bats away. Just his approach, he goes through a lot of preparation and it seems like when they make the pitch that he's looking for, he's not missing it."

But that's not all. Martinez tied the Red Sox's single-season record for home runs through June. The other Red Sox players to reach that number include Ted Williams in 1950, Jose Canseco and Mo Vaughn in 1996 and Manny Ramirez in 2001.

If he hits another home run by Saturday, Martinez will become the sole team record-holder, but he's not thinking about that.

"I'm just worried about tomorrow and the next guy we're facing," Martinez said. "So that's kind of where I'm at."

Video: LAA@BOS: Red Sox go yard 4 times in win over Angels

Martinez blasted the ball on the second pitch of the at-bat from Angels reliever Deck McGuire over the bullpen in right-center field. It sailed 395 feet with a 106-mph exit velocity, according to Statcast™, and gave the Red Sox an 8-1 sixth-inning lead in the series opener.

The home run was Martinez's sixth in June and his second in the last four games. He ended the evening going 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI to set a career-long streak of reaching base in 30 straight home games -- the longest in MLB this season.

The key to Martinez's consistency comes before he even steps into the box. Jackie Bradley Jr. said Martinez's explosiveness at the plate comes from preparation. Bradley, who hit his fifth home run of the season on Tuesday, said Martinez has given him guidance for producing consistent hitting. But the most helpful lesson has been watching Martinez prepare.

"I say this every single time I talk about him: He's not only a special player, he's a great teammate and great leader," Bradley said. "The way he prepares each and every day, everybody can learn from. He's crazy about the game. He's producing like this because he's not only good at the game, but he takes the time and puts a lot of effort in."

Martinez said what sets his preparation apart is how he pores over the data -- a method he expects will grow among batters. TrackMan data collects information from behind the plate mainly to help pitchers prepare for batters. But Martinez uses it to give him an edge.

"I said if they're going to do it to plan against me, then I might as well do it to plan against them," Martinez said. "And I kind of take everything into account. Not just video work, you know, I look at everything, and I kind of just game plan myself facing that pitcher, and I feel like for me, when I get in the box, I feel like I've already faced the pitcher six, seven times before I even got in there. I think that's what really helps me."

Blake Richardson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Boston.

Boston Red Sox, J.D. Martinez