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J.D. stays red-hot with HR, exits with illness

MLB.com @IanMBrowne

BOSTON -- J.D. Martinez is absolutely on fire. And by the time manager Alex Cora removed him due to illness in Thursday's 6-2 victory over the Orioles, the damage had already been done.

Once again, Martinez wasted no time impacting the baseball or the game, bashing a two-run homer to center in the bottom of the first to give David Price a quick lead.

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BOSTON -- J.D. Martinez is absolutely on fire. And by the time manager Alex Cora removed him due to illness in Thursday's 6-2 victory over the Orioles, the damage had already been done.

Once again, Martinez wasted no time impacting the baseball or the game, bashing a two-run homer to center in the bottom of the first to give David Price a quick lead.

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The right-handed-hitting slugger smashed an 82.1-mph splitter from Kevin Gausman a projected distance of 431 feet with an exit velocity of 110 mph, according to Statcast™.

In the bottom of the seventh, Cora removed Martinez in favor of pinch-hitter Blake Swihart with the Red Sox holding a commanding 6-0 lead.

Tweet from @MLBStatoftheDay: .@JDMartinez14 might need a tougher league to play in. pic.twitter.com/qcxj8816Nu

"He's doing OK," said Cora. "Just, for me, it didn't make sense to send him out there the way he was feeling. He should be back tomorrow."

That's bad news for the Orioles, who probably wish Martinez would stay home and eat chicken soup.

Thursday marked the fourth time Martinez has homered in the last five games, and eighth in the last 15.

The designated hitter/outfielder now has 13 home runs for the season, which briefly tied him with seven other players -- including teammate Mookie Betts -- for most in the Majors until Manny Machado took Price deep in the ninth inning for his 14th.

The homer was Martinez's 44th since the All-Star break of last season, snapping a tie with Giancarlo Stanton for most in the Majors over that time.

"He launches balls on a daily basis," Xander Bogaerts said of Martinez. "That's routine for him."

Martinez also extended his career-best on-base streak to 22 games, during which he's slashing .393/.463/.774.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, J.D. Martinez