J.D. Martinez Downplays Home Runs Off Eduardo Rodriguez After Vetoed Trade To Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers began their final homestand of the season with an 8-3 win over the Detroit Tigers, backed by J.D. Martinez hitting two home runs against former teammate Eduardo Rodriguez.

Rodriguez was nearly traded to the Dodgers at the deadline before he vetoed a potential deal. L.A. was among 10 teams on his no-trade list, and the left-hander said the decision stemmed from personal and family reasons.

Martinez and Mookie Betts reached out to Rodriguez about the process and initially didn’t get a response. “No comment,” Martinez quipped when asked if he hit two home runs off Rodriguez because of the snub.

“Everyone makes decisions. Everyone’s got their choices,” Martinez said when asked if he had extra motivation facing Rodriguez. “He texted me and apologized for not texting me back and stuff like that.

“It was a family decision. I get it. He’s got to do what he’s got to do for him. It’s understandable. Obviously we wanted him here, but it is what it is.”

Martinez’s first homer was a line drive to the opposite field that put the Dodgers up 1-0 in the second inning. The 36-year-old later added a three-run shot in the third that extended the team’s lead to five.

Martinez and Rodriguez were teammates for parts of four seasons with the Red Sox. Prior to Monday’s series opener, Martinez had only seen Rodriguez a couple of times despite both playing in the American League.

“I never faced him when he was with the Red Sox. I never really faced him. We always joked around about it; me, him and (Dustin) Pedroia. We had some fun with it,” Martinez explained.

“I faced him, I think last year or the year before, and he walked me twice. So this was like the first time I got to actually face him. He’s a good guy. I’ve got no hard feelings against him.”

J.D. Martinez: ‘It feels good’ to be healthy again

After missing a stretch of games while dealing with left groin tightness, Martinez is happy to finally be healthy again. “It feels good,” he said. “It’s been a struggle with the whole injury stuff and getting into a groove.

“Playing, not playing, I’ve got to be realistic with myself. I know sometimes I want to come out of the gate and rake. Sometimes it happens, but most times it doesn’t.

“It’s just getting out there consistently, getting into a groove of things and actually getting to work how I want to work and how I know I can work, I think that’s what’s going to get me ready for the playoffs.”

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