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Ketel Marte hits first career grand slam as D-backs pour it on Boston

Leading up to the sixth inning of the Diamondbacks’ home opener, Arizona was rolling over the Boston Red Sox.

Then Ketel Marte stepped up to the plate.

Already up 8-1, and with the bases loaded, Marte turned on one.

Right off the bat, it was clear it had the distance as it cleared the left field fence for Marte’s first grand slam of his career.

Make that 12-1.

“Nothing changed,” Marte said after being asked if his approach changed after seeing Christian Walker intentionally walked ahead of him. “I get so mad, but it’s part of the game. I go up there and I’m like ‘I got to get him, I got to get him and do something special for my team.'”

Marte seemed to have the hot hand early on Friday as that was his second homer of the game. In the bottom of the fourth, Marte added another run with a solo shot.

He’s just the seventh D-back to record a homer from each side of the plate in franchise history.

“I feel very strongly about Ketel,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said about Marte after the game. “He’s going to be here a long time, we know that and we’re enjoying every minute he gets better.

“And I think at one point, yes, we’re going to be looking at somebody that’s one of the best in the league.”

Entering play Friday, Marte averaged .290 from the plate with nine hits, six RBIs and five runs scored in seven games played (31 at-bats).

Against the Red Sox, Marte went 2-for-5 (.306) with a career-high five RBIs and two runs scored.

“There’s no limitations for him, and he’s trusting of his coaches and getting good information and impacting the game in a very special way,” Lovullo said. “Yes, I think we’re on our way there. Is it happening now, today? Probably not because I think the skies the limit for him.”

It’s just the second multi-home run game for the second baseman in his career. He first did it against the Marlins in 2018.

Arizona wasn’t done there, however, as they added two more runs, courtesy of a two-run shot from Ildemaro Vargas. Vargas was called up Friday to replace the injured Jake Lamb.

The D-backs compiled seven runs in the sixth inning, the most in the team’s interleague play since 2012.

All told, Arizona had five homers in Friday’s 15-8 win. Two from Marte, one from Adam Jones, a solo shot from Alex Avila and another from Vargas.

The D-backs set a new franchise record in interleague play with 15 runs scored, the most since 2017.

They’ve now scored 56 runs and hit 19 homers through eight games.

While it’s nothing but smiles in the home dugout, Boston is clearly not having as much fun at Chase Field.

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