The Red Sox beat the Yankees 5-4 Thursday, preventing NY from sweeping the three-game series with its arch rival. Shortstop Jorge Mateo, 22, once ranked Baseball America's No. 26 prospect, is hitting.178 with two home runs, seven RBIs and six stolen bases in 30 games with Triple-A Nashville, while 24-year-old RHP James Kaprielian, the Yankees' first-round pick in 2015, has yet to pitch since 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery last season. But Martinez got just enough of the ball to loft it over the short porch in right field for his ninth homer of the year (fifth to the opposite field) and the eventual winning run. Instead, it was quiet in a mostly empty room, players discreetly shuffling in and out where Dellin Betances and Aaron Judge were asked about one the game's most pivotal plays.
"So, it's just nice that we're racking up some wins here, good to get off in this series on a good note and hopefully we can come and grab one tomorrow". "I'm not saying that he will miss the next start or that there's a DL situation here, but obviously we want to make sure what's going on".
"Definitely the energy was different", Martinez said.
And that's when Martinez made his first imprint on the rivalry.
"I hit it, and I was like blowing, praying, doing everything I can to push it over", Martinez said. "I know he'll be excited about it, and probably even more so because it's against the Yankees".
Whatever he did, it worked.
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Martinez had driven in a run in the third with a liner off the glove of second baseman Gleyber Torres that was turned into a forceout, and as he walked to the plate in the eighth, Ramirez told him to hit a home run. "I think they're No. 1 in OPS against relievers". I'll talk to him some more. "I felt bad for the guy". The fight with the Red Sox seemed to light a fire under the Yankees, as they've only lost three games since.
"Their at-bats after the seventh inning are incredible", Cora said of the Yankees" knack for comeback victories.
"It took forever tonight", Cora said.
Really, all of these delicious regular-season matchups are but an appetizer for the entree we should all hope awaits us in October: another Yankees-Red Sox postseason series.
"It's gonna be fun the rest of the year".
And Martinez's heroics came at the behest of teammate Hanley Ramirez.