UPDATE: Talk about great timing. Ortiz just slugged his first home run of the season to the “Monster Seats” in center field.
7:11 PM: Prior to Friday’s game against the Orioles, David Ortiz told Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that he was embarrassed when Mike Lowell pinch-hit for him against left-hander Darren Oliver on Tuesday:
“It was just embarrassing, getting pinch-hit for,” Ortiz said. “I
understand. I’m not swinging the bat good, with a lefty and whatever.
I’ve got to come through and do my thing and get that out of people’s
heads. When I’m swinging the bat good that’s not going to happen.
Basically it was a wake-up call to say, ‘You better start hitting or
you’re going to get pinch-hit for.'”
Or benched altogether. Francona started Lowell over Ortiz on Wednesday and Thursday as the Red Sox faced consecutive left-handers. With right-hander Jeremy Guthrie on the mound on Friday, the .146 hitting Ortiz is back in the starting lineup, batting sixth.
With last Wednesday’s start against the Yankees, Mariners hurler Hisashi Iwakuma pushed his 2016 innings total up to 2016. That clears the 162-inning hurdle for his 2017 option to vest at $14 million. However, as Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors reports, the language in Iwakuma’s contract also stipulates that the right-hander finish the season without suffering a specific injury.
Iwakuma, 35, was in agreement with the Dodgers on a three-year contract back in December but failed the physical, which nullified the deal. He ended up signing with the Mariners on a one-year, $12 million deal with a full no-trade clause and club options for 2017 and ’18 that vest at specific inning thresholds (162 each or 324 for both seasons).
This season, Iwakuma has stayed healthy, making 26 starts to the tune of a 14-9 record, a 3.81 ERA and a 118/36 K/BB ratio in 163 innings.
Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki deposited a single to left-center field in the fourth inning of Monday night’s game against the Mets, then added a double to center field in the eighth. Those mark hits No. 3,010 and 3,011 for Suzuki in his major league career, tying and then moving past Wade Boggs for sole possession of 27th on baseball’s all-time hits list.
Suzuki would come around to score on a double by Xavier Scruggs to break a scoreless tie in the eighth.
Here’s the video of Ichiro’s first hit.
By the end of the season, Suzuki will have presumably moved ahead of Rafael Palmeiro (26th; 3,020) and Lou Brock (25th; 3,023).
Suzuki was 2-for-4 after the double. With baseball’s fifth month nearly complete, the 42-year-old is currently batting .298/.371/.373.