Red Sox vs. Astros: J.D. Martinez's first ALCS homer comes off former teammate Justin Verlander

Boston Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez was one of the game's most productive batters in during the regular season. He hit .330/.402/.629 with 43 home runs and 130 runs batted in. Based on little more than that information, he seemed primed for a big postseason -- his first as a member of the Red Sox. Yet entering Thursday's Game 5 of the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros, Martinez had hit just .200/.333/.267 with one extra-base hits over the first four games. Add in his ALDS against the New York Yankees, and he'd homered once in 37 plate appearances.

Martinez changed that early in Game 5, delivering a solo shot on a Justin Verlander hanger in the top of the third inning to put the Red Sox up 1-0:

There are a few fun ties to observe here. Martinez and Verlander were teammates with the Detroit Tigers, of course. And before that, Martinez was part of the Astros organization. Houston released him in March 2014, and the rest is history.

Much like that baseball. 

You can follow along with all the action of Game 5 in our live blog or stream the game on fuboTV (Try for free). 

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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