ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – J.D. Martinez homered twice, raising his major league-leading total to nine, and the Boston Red Sox beat Kohei Arihara and the Texas Rangers 6-1 on Friday night.
After Arihara (2-3) walked the game’s first two batters, Martinez hit a 79-mph slider into the left-field seats, and Xander Bogaerts homered into the Red Sox bullpen in left-center field. Martinez led off the third with a 440-foot blast to center off an 80-mph splitter thrown by the Japanese right-hander.
It was the 17th career multihomer game for Martinez and second this season. He hit three homers at Baltimore on ApApril 11Rafael Devers also went deep for the AL East-leading Red Sox, who in the first four batters matched their combined runs in their previous three games – two of those wins.
While the Red Sox were hitting balls over the wall, Nathan Eovaldi (4-2) allowed one run on four singles over six innings with five strikeouts and two walks. The right-hander extended his MLB-longest active homerless streak to 47 2-3 innings. He has faced 196 batters since Austin Meadows homered off him in Tampa Bay last SeSeptember 12Arihara had another short outing, allowing six runs on four hits (all homers) with two walks and a hit batsman over 2 2-3 innings. The 28-year-old right-hander, in his first MLB season after six years in Japan, gave up five runs in two innings against the White Sox last Sunday, following consecutive starts when he threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings.
Brock Holt, who played from the Red Sox from 2013-19 and joined his hometown Rangers this offseason, drove in only Texas run with a two-out single in the second.
After Martinez homered for MLB-leading 25th RBI and Bogaerts had a 380-foot flyout to center to start the third, Devers hit his seventh homer for his 21st RBI.
It is the second time in four seasons for Martinez and Devers to have at least six homers and 20 RBIs by the end of April (also 2018). Only five other times in franchise history have a pair of Red Sox teammates reached those totals before May in the same season.
The only Red Sox players with more April home runs, with 10 each, are David Ortiz in 2006 and Hanley Ramírez in 2015. Hyeon-Jong Yang struck out four and allowed only one hit in 4 1/3 scoreless innings of relief for Texas. The 33-year-old from South Korea made his big league debut earlier this week.
Rangers: DH David Dahl fouled a pitch off his right foot when batting in the sixth. After taking a moment to walk it off, he struck out swinging at a 97 mph fastball. He remained in the game and batted again later.
Boston lefty Eduardo Rodriguez (4-0, 3.52 ERA) tries to become the first American League pitcher to five wins when he starts Saturday night against the Rangers, who went 0-8 on Fridays and Saturdays in April. RHP Jordan Lyles (1-2, 6.75), who has allowed 18 runs in 24 innings, starts for Texas.