Settling the Score: Friday’s results

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Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier were back in the Dodgers’ starting lineup last night, but it was Mark Ellis who played hero. Ellis, who recently returned after missing six weeks due to emergency surgery on his leg, delivered a go-ahead two-run homer off Clayton Richard in the bottom of the sixth inning as part of a 2-1 victory over the Padres.

Clayton Kershaw had a rough outing against the Diamondbacks before the All-Star break, but he bounced back last night by tossing six innings of one-run ball. The southpaw struck out six and walked one in the victory and now holds a 2.84 ERA and 125/35 K/BB ratio over 126 2/3 innings. Kenley Jansen danced around a two-out walk for his 16th save. The hard-throwing right-hander hasn’t allowed a run since June 13.

Kemp was 2-for-4 with a double and a single in his return the lineup while Ethier went 0-for-2 with a hit-by-pitch.

The Giants also won last night, so the Dodgers will open play this evening with a slim half-game lead in the National League West.

Your Friday box scores:

Diamondbacks 1, Cubs 8

Tigers 7, Orioles 2

Nationals 5, Marlins 1

Angels 5, Yankees 6

Cardinals 3, Reds 5

Indians 1, Blue Jays 0

Mets 5, Braves 7

Red Sox 3, Rays 1

Pirates 7, Brewers 10

Athletics 6, Twins 3

Phillies 2, Rockies 6

White Sox 9, Royals 8 (14 innings)

Rangers 3, Mariners 2

Astros 1, Giants 5

J.D. Martinez tells teams he prefers an outfield role

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Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.

That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.

Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.