One of the biggest MLB rivalries is set to take centre stage in the AL wild-card playoff game as the Boston Red Sox take on the New York Yankees. Designated hitter JD Martinez was left off the Red Sox roster for the game to be held on Tuesday, two days after he twisted his ankle running out to the field in a rare defensive appearance.
Playing the outfield because Boston finished the regular season in Washington, an NL park where the DH is not used, Martinez slipped on second base while taking his position between innings. He remained in the game for a half-inning before he was replaced by a pinch hitter.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora said on Monday that Martinez was getting treatment and the team would see how his ankle responds. The four-time All-Star batted .286 with 28 homers and 99 RBIs this season.
On the other hand, the Yankees added outfielder Greg Allen to their roster for the game, 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.
With ace Gerrit Cole on the mound, Kyle Higashioka will be behind the plate. Manager Aaron Boone said starting catcher Gary Sánchez will not be his designated hitter, leaving Sánchez 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.
It will be the fifth time the teams have met in the playoffs — the 1978 tiebreaker counted as part of the regular season — with each club winning twice. In postseason games, New York leads 12-11, but Boston has won seven of the last eight.