Red Sox Notes: J.D. Martinez Makes His Mark In Boston History With 43rd Home Run

J.D. Martinez was signed by the Red Sox in the offseason to help make an impact in the Boston lineup.
And he certainly delivered.
The slugger ended the regular season with 130 RBIs and 43 home runs, which etched him into Red Sox history. With his three-run round-tripper in the fourth inning of Sunday’s 10-2 win over the New York Yankees, he surpassed Dick Stuart for most home runs during a player’s first year with Boston. Stuart held the record since 1963.
Aside from breaking a 55-year-old record, Martinez’s RBIs and homers also leave him among some pretty elite company.

J.D. Martinez will finish his season batting .330 with 43 HR and 130 RBI. The only other Red Sox ever to hit at least .330 with 40+ HR and 130+ RBI are Ted Williams (1949) and Jimmie Foxx (1936, ’38). The last major leaguer to do that was Miguel Cabrera (2013).
— Red Sox Notes (@SoxNotes) September 30, 2018

Although it was a season for the record books for No. 28, the postseason now is a priority for Boston.
“It’s been fun. The guys have been great,” Martinez said after the game, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “It was exciting but now we’re focused on the playoffs.”
Here are some other notes from Sunday’s Red Sox-Yankees game:

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— Mookie Betts ended the regular season with an American League-leading .346 average to go along with 47 doubles, 32 home runs, 80 RBIs, 129 runs scored and 30 stolen bases.
“I knew he was good, but to see it on a daily basis is eye-opening,” Sox manager Alex Cora said after the game. “From day one in Spring Training he put the work (in), he’s a good student of the game.”
Betts had a stellar campaign for the Red Sox, and if you ask Martinez, he’s a no-brainer to win the American League MVP award.
“If he’s not your MVP I don’t know who is,” Martinez said.
— The Red Sox finished the season with the best record in Major League Baseball at 108-54.
“We kept playing good baseball. They did a good job,” Cora said. “Got better throughout (the season), defensively, running the bases. It was a total team effort. It was a solid season.”
— After a less-than-stellar outing in Saturday’s loss when he surrendered three earned runs on four hits with two walks, Eduardo Rodriguez bounced back with a scoreless, hitless fifth inning that included two strikeouts.
“A lot better than yesterday,” Cora said. “I talked to him last night (and said) ‘Hey man, you got one inning tomorrow. We have to pitch with some conviction.’ And he did.”
— Boston will begin the ALDS on Friday at Fenway Park, with its opponent to be determined Tuesday night with the Oakland Athletics and Yankees fighting for a chance at the World Series title.