ALDS Red Sox Rays Baseball

Boston Red Sox DH J.D. Martinez was added to the AL All-Star team on Tuesday. Chris O’Meara/Associated Press

J.D. Martinez is going to Los Angeles.

The Red Sox’ designated hitter was originally left off the American League roster for the MLB All-Star Game that’ll take place next week at Dodger Stadium, but after Astros’ DH Yordan Alvarez pulled out due to a hand injury, Martinez was named as his replacement.

Martinez, who turns 35 in August, entered Tuesday with a .313 average, his highest since he hit .330 in 2018, while leading the league with 29 doubles. But he has just nine home runs, his lowest home run pace since he was still with the Astros in 2013.

After snapping a 22-game homerless drought on Sunday night, he said he’s been frustrated with his power outage.

“At the beginning I didn’t care, but then when you’re about to get to the All-Star break, it’s one of those things,” he said. “I know what it is. It’s not a lack of power or anything like that, because I’m still hitting the ball hard. I’m doing something in my swing that’s causing me to not get the ball in the air as often as I’d like.”

Martinez entered June with a .363 average, but has hit just .257 since.


This will be Martinez’s fifth All-Star appearance, four of which have come since signing a $110-million deal with the Red Sox in 2018. He’ll be a free agent after this season.

BRAYAN BELLO’S second major league start, in many ways, went just like his first. He was hit hard by the Rays early, lasted just four innings and the Red Sox lost Monday night, just like in his big league debut Wednesday at Fenway Park. But this time around, at Tropicana Field, Bello settled down enough to let Boston’s offense get the club back in the game.

The Rays tagged Bello for five runs and five hits in the first two innings before he buckled down and – with the increased use of his four-seam fastball – held Tampa Bay in check in the third and fourth. In the third inning, he worked around a leadoff double to retire the next three hitters he faced. In his fourth and final frame, he allowed a leadoff single before recording his fifth strikeout of the night, then inducing an inning-ending double play.

Bello’s efforts were enough to allow the Red Sox to climb back from a 5-1 hole and tie the game, 5-5, in the fifth. The bullpen allowed five runs in the final innings of a sloppy 10-5 loss.

Still, Bello’s outing represented a step forward from his first one. And though he’ll likely take a 10.13 ERA back to Worcester with Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi returning to Boston’s rotation, he’ll be able to draw on some of his success Wednesday as he continues to develop at Triple-A.

“Obviously, there’s a lot of growing, a lot of learning,” said Manager Alex Cora. “Tonight was a great learning experience for him. We were very pleased with the last two innings. He gave us a chance to win the game.”

The hype around Bello – who Baseball America ranked as the 24th-best prospect in all of baseball Monday – makes it easy to forget that he’s just 23 and has only 51 1/3 innings of Triple-A experience. It’s probable that the Red Sox’ decimated rotation caused them to call Bello up a little earlier than they would have in a perfect world. And it’s important to remember that the bumps in the road are often more valuable than one’s success.

Monday’s game was a good example of Bello learning on the fly. He ditched his two-seamer – which the Rays hit well early – for his four-seamer and began to induce weak contact. He ended his night with eight whiffs on 82 pitches, which was an improvement from the six he got on 79 pitches Wednesday. Bello said his two big league outings taught him about the strike zone and that major leaguers are usually looking for a specific pitch when they step in the box. The scouting reports available at the highest level dwarf what’s available in the minors.

“Every time you go out there at this level, you get to learn something new,” Bello said through interpreter Carlos Villoria Benítez. “I feel like I did today. It was not as good of an outing as I expected but I think it was OK.”

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