Red Sox leave Martinez off WC roster; Yanks start Urshela

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Boston Red Sox' Rafael Devers, left, celebrates his home run with J.D. Martinez, right, during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

BOSTON – Designated hitter J.D. Martinez was left off the Red Sox roster for their one-game wild-card playoff against the New York Yankees on Tuesday, two days after he twisted his ankle running out to the field in a rare defensive appearance.

New York, meanwhile, had Gio Urshela starting at third base two days after he took a terrifying crash into the visiting dugout while catching a foul ball in a 1-0 win over Tampa Bay that clinched the Yankees a postseason berth.

Martinez slipped on second base while taking his position between innings Sunday. He was playing the outfield because Boston finished the regular season in Washington, an NL park where the DH is not used. He remained in the game for a half-inning before he was replaced by a pinch hitter.

The four-time All-Star batted .286 with 28 homers and 99 RBIs this season. Red Sox manager Alex Cora noted that the roster is different for a one-game playoff than it would have been for a longer series.

“The fact that he cannot play today is a tough one,” Cora said. “But, at the same time, they got some guys over there that they’re banged up. They’re not part of it. And I think this is the grind of 162 games. The way it happened, I mean, J.D. has been stepping on that bag for ten years. It just happened, that slip, and he’s out now.”

Without Martinez, Kyle Schwarber was at DH and batting leadoff. Third baseman Rafael Devers is batting third, Martinez's usual spot, with Xander Bogaerts at cleanup.

Urshela remained in Sunday's game for another inning before being replaced on defense. Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Sunday that Urshela had a severe bruise forming on his thigh but avoided serious injury.

Boone tabbed Anthony Rizzo to bat leadoff Tuesday, just the second time the first baseman has batted first for New York since being acquired from the Cubs in July. The 240-pound slugger is a career .321 hitter with a .407 on-base percentage in 66 appearances at the top of the order.

The Yankees added outfielder Greg Allen to their roster, along with Rob Brantly as a third catcher. Left-hander Andrew Heaney and right-hander Brody Koerner were designated for assignment to open roster spots. All-Star infielder DJ LeMahieu and 2020 home run champion Luke Voit are both on the injured list and were left off the roster.

With ace Gerrit Cole on the mound, Kyle Higashioka will be behind the plate. Starting catcher Gary Sánchez was set to begin the game on the bench along with Brantly, who was 3 for 20 in six games with the Yankees this season.

Allen is speedy and could be used as a pinch runner.


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