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Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez scratched with back spasms

April 27, 2019

BOSTON (AP) — Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez has been scratched from Saturday’s game against Tampa Bay because of back spasms.

Martinez, who was in the original lineup hitting cleanup as the DH, was replaced by Steve Pearce, who was inserted into the seventh spot in the batting order.

Martinez is batting a team best for regulars at .340 with four homers and 13 RBIs.

Xander Bogaerts was moved up from fifth to the cleanup spot.

Pearce, the World Series MVP last fall, is struggling with a .125 average and no homers with only one RBI in 11 games.

The teams open a rain-shortened, two-game series after Friday’s scheduled game at Fenway Park was rained out.

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