Boston’s offense has been uncharacteristically quiet early this season, but the Red Sox could receive a boost with the return of designated hitter J.D. Martinez.
Martinez is hoping to be in the lineup when the Red Sox continue a three-game series against the host Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.
The veteran slugger has missed six of Boston’s last nine games with left adductor tightness, but manager Alex Cora said Martinez could play Saturday and Sunday.
“Just one more day,” Cora said before Friday’s game. “He went out there and ran and felt it a little bit. Like always, we’re thinking here, 162-plus (games). One day that he takes today, probably, we’re going to see him close to 100 percent.”
Boston won for just the second time in its last seven games on Friday, when Christian Arroyo hit a two-run homer in a 3-1 victory.
Arroyo’s 408-foot blast snapped Boston’s six-game homerless streak, which marked the team’s longest stretch since April 2001.
The Red Sox recalled Franchy Cordero from Triple-A Worcester on Friday to replace Travis Shaw, who was designated for assignment. Cordero started at first base and went 0-for-4 while batting sixth.
Baltimore was limited to three hits before Ryan Mountcastle homered off Hansel Robles to lead off the ninth inning.
The Orioles have lost five straight but received a strong outing Friday from starter Kyle Bradish, 25, who allowed three runs (two earned) over six innings in his major league debut.
“He’s got quiet confidence,” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said. “He just seemed like the moment wasn’t too big for him today. He seemed like it was another start. I’m sure it wasn’t, but he didn’t seem rattled by anything.”
Orioles third baseman Tyler Nevin was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk prior to Friday’s game and went 0-for-3 in his season debut.
Nevin could be in the lineup again Saturday versus Boston starter Nathan Eovaldi (1-0, 3.32 ERA). The right-hander received a no-decision after allowing two runs over a season-high seven innings against the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday.
Eovaldi, 32, has yielded two earned runs or fewer in each of his first four starts, but he’s had problems keeping the ball in the park.
The Texas native has given up seven home runs in 21 2/3 innings after allowing just 15 in 182 1/3 innings last season.
“I’m trying to attack the zone,” Eovaldi said. “I’m going after the hitters and trying to get the batters out three pitches or less. The home runs are going to happen, but as long as I can keep them to solo shots, I’m OK with it.”
Austin Hays has six hits in 16 at-bats against Eovaldi, who is 7-2 with a 3.74 ERA in 15 career starts against Baltimore.
Orioles starter Spenser Watkins (0-0, 2.77) is seeking his first win of the season after giving up four runs (two earned) in his first three starts covering 13 innings.
The right-hander yielded two runs on three hits over five frames against the Los Angeles Angels this past Saturday. Both runs came on solo homers by Angels star Mike Trout.
Watkins, 29, is 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in three career games (one start) against Boston.
–Field Level Media