Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen is shaking up his lineup in an effort to jump-start an offense which has scored only six runs during their current six-game losing streak.
After getting the day off yesterday, Jose Reyes has been dropped down to second in the order tonight against the Diamondbacks. He’ll be flip-flopped with center fielder Emilio Bonifacio, who will bat leadoff against right-hander Ian Kennedy.
Signed to be a catalyst for the top of the Marlins’ lineup, Reyes is hitting just .205/.263/.329 with five doubles, two triples, four stolen bases and a .591 OPS over his first 80 plate appearances this season. The 28-year-old went 1-for-12 in his return to New York earlier this week and has just three hits over his last 23 at-bats.
Reyes has 44 career starts out of the No. 2 spot, but this is his first since July 10, 2010. History suggests the lineup tweak will be a temporary one.
As expected, Major League Baseball’s league-wide home run record, set in 2000, was tied and surpassed on Tuesday night, both by players named Alex who play for AL Central teams.
Tigers outfielder Alex Presley tied the record at 5,693, per MLB.com’s David Adler, with a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth inning against Athletics starter Daniel Gossett. Royals outfielder Alex Gordon broke the record roughly 12 minutes later with a solo home run to lead off the top of the eighth inning against Blue Jays reliever Ryan Tepera.
Major League Baseball saw the record nearly broken last year, when 5,610 home runs were hit. The only other season above 5,500 was 1999 at 5,528.
Earlier this month, Yankees starter CC Sabathia jawed at the Red Sox after Eduardo Nunez laid down a bunt. Sabathia fielded it fine, but threw the ball away for an error. After the game, he called Nunez’s bunt “weak” and said the Red Sox should “swing the bat.” Sabathia, of course, is not that limber these days. Along with being 37 years old, the lefty has also battled knee and hamstring issues this season.
The Twins apparently didn’t hear what Sabathia had to say about bunting. After Brian Dozier singled off of Sabathia to lead off the top of the first inning on Tuesday, Joe Mauer laid down a bunt on the third base side and reached safely. Jorge Polanco then laid down a bunt of his own, also on the third base side, and was initially ruled out, but after replay review was ruled safe to load the bases with no outs.
Fortunately for Sabathia, he was able to limit the damage, getting Eduardo Escobar to ground into a run-scoring 6-4-3 double play and inducing an inning-ending ground out from Byron Buxton. It’ll be interesting, though, to see if the Twins continue to bunt against Sabathia throughout the night.