J.D. Martinez placed on COVID-related IL as tough stretch for Red Sox continues

Things have been tough lately for the Boston Red Sox. And that continued on Saturday before they even played a game.

The club announced that J.D. Martinez has been placed on the COVID-19 related injured list. Per, Martinez was feeling sick on Friday night and into Saturday, so the team is going to put him through testing to see if he is positive for COVID-19.

Martinez is the team’s starting designated hitter and one of the top threats in the lineup. He is currently hitting .284 and is tied for second-best on the team with 21 home runs and 68 runs batted in.

Boston Red Sox's J.D. Martinez rounds third base after hitting a solo home run against the Detroit Tigers in the second inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Martinez joins outfielder Jarren Duran on the COVID-related IL. Duran was put on the list Friday after experiencing symptoms. The club is still awaiting Duran’s test results, manager Alex Cora said Saturday.

Connor Wong was elevated from Triple-A to replace Martinez on the roster ahead of a doubleheader against the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday.

The Red Sox dropped the series opener in Toronto on Friday night, 12-4. It marked the club’s eighth loss in its last 10 games. That recent skid has dropped the Red Sox out of first place in the American League East.

Entering Saturday’s games, the Red Sox are 64-47 — 2.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East standings. The New York Yankees, now 60-49 on the year, are 8-2 over their last 10 and are closing ground on the Red Sox. The Yankees are just three games back of Boston and 5.5 games out of first place. The Blue Jays are also in the hunt at 58-49, a game back of the Yankees.

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