Following a four-game absence in which he dealt with an illness as well as back tightness up in Toronto, slugger JD Martinez is back in the Red Sox’ lineup for their series opener against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park Friday night.
The 31-year-old will bat cleanup and serve as the designated hitter for Boston against Astros left-hander and old friend Wade Miley.
Now in his second season with the Sox, Martinez was originally drafted by the ‘Stros out of Nova Southeastern University in the 20th round of the 2009 amateur draft before being released by the club before the start of the 2014 season.
Since then, the Florida native has become one of the more feared hitters in all of baseball and is currently sporting a .308 batting average to go along with nine home runs and 29 RBI through 44 games this year.
As for the rest of the Red Sox lineup, Michael Chavis will remain in the leadoff spot, and he will be followed by Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Martinez, Steve Pearce, Andrew Benintendi Eduardo Nunez, Sandy Leon, and Jackie Bradley Jr. with Chris Sale on the hill.
The red-hot Rafael Devers will begin the night on the bench against the opposing southpaw on the mound for Houston, his first day off of the season. Same goes for Mitch Moreland.
First pitch Friday is scheduled for 8:10 PM EDT on NESN.