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Jun 19, 2024 8:04 am

Blue Jays’ Orelvis Martinez could make MLB debut vs. Red Sox

Orelvis Martinez

The Toronto Blue Jays could unveil slugging prospect Orelvis Martinez on Wednesday night when they try to salvage the finale of their three-game series with the visiting Boston Red Sox.

The 22-year-old infielder, who has belted 16 home runs this season at Triple-A Buffalo, was promoted Tuesday after shortstop Bo Bichette (right calf strain) was put on the injured list.

Martinez did not play Tuesday in the Blue Jays’ 4-3 loss to the Red Sox, who have won the opening two games of the series and four straight overall.

He is likely to see most of his playing time at second base but could also be used at third.260

“If he’s not in the starting lineup, having his bat on the bench is beneficial,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said. “He’ll have to get used to that a little bit, but there’s definitely going to be games where he’s starting whether it’s a left-handed pitcher or a right-handed pitcher. Hopefully he continues to swing it the way he’s been swinging it.”

He was batting .260 with Buffalo, with which he started 36 games at second base and 15 at third. Isiah Kiner-Falefa has been starting at shortstop for Bichette, who has missed the past four games.

The Blue Jays are scheduled to start right-hander Kevin Gausman (5-5, 4.08 ERA) on Wednesday. He is 7-9 with a 4.44 ERA in 28 career outings (23 starts) against Boston.

The Red Sox are scheduled to start right-hander Brayan Bello (6-4, 5.00). He is 1-3 with a 6.00 ERA in five career starts versus Toronto.

Boston used a combination of power and speed to fashion its winning streak. The Red Sox stole nine bases in defeating the New York Yankees 9-3 on Sunday and belted four home runs in winning the opener 7-3 in Toronto on Monday.

They used a little of both in the eighth inning on Tuesday.

Tyler O’Neill hit his 15th homer of the season and third of the series to lead off the eighth and tie the game at 3-3. After Dominic Smith singled, pinch runner David Hamilton stole second and scored the go-ahead run on Ceddanne Rafaela’s third hit of the game.

Hamilton did not start Tuesday after being removed from the series opener with discomfort in his left side. He is a key to Boston’s running game and has 19 stolen bases on the season, including four on Sunday.

“We were waiting for the right moment to use Hammy,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “Hammy was a go from the get-go, did a good job, and then, Rafaela with the swing. It was fun.”

Rafaela continued his hot hitting, extending his hitting streak to seven games. He is batting .615 (16-for-26) with three doubles, a homer and four RBIs on the streak. He also stole his 10th base of the season on Tuesday.

“He’s leading the team in RBI (41), he’s been able to control the at-bats, use the other field, he’s been doing a good job,” Cora said. “We knew that it was going to be a struggle early in the season, but right now he’s in a good spot. … He’s swinging at the right pitches, he’s not chasing as much.”

Boston reinstated right-hander Chris Martin (anxiety) from the injured list Tuesday and optioned right-hander Cooper Criswell to Triple-A Worcester.

Toronto recalled right-hander Ryan Burr from Buffalo on Tuesday and optioned left-hander Brandon Eisert to the Triple-A club.

–Field Level Media

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