Yankees hit five homers, top Red Sox 6-4

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The Bronx Bombers, already with 22 more longballs than any other team in the league entering Friday’s action, pounded out five homers Friday night in defeating the Red Sox 6-4.

Nisk Swisher went deep twice on the night, and Curtis Granderson and Russell Martin went back-to-back in the second inning. Derek Jeter lined a solo shot in the fifth for his 250th career home run.

The Yankees now have 186 homers on the season, 26 more than the second-place Blue Jays.  Jeter’s homer was his 10th of the year, giving the Yankees 10 players in double figures. That matches a franchise record.

The Red Sox scored all their runs off Phil Hughes in the fourth, with Dustin Pedroia hitting a three-run homer in the frame. All of the runs were unearned as a result of Hughes’ own error– he threw a potential double-play ball into center field — so his ERA fell to 4.23.

Martin Maldonado and Willson Contreras say they’re willing to pay fines rather than follow new mound visit rule

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On Monday, Major League Baseball announced some changes aimed at improving the game’s pace of play, something that has been a pet cause for commissioner Rob Manfred. Among the changes was a limit on mound visits whether from managers and coaches, the catcher, or other defenders. Each team will have six non-pitching change mound visits per game and one additional visit each inning in extra innings. Craig wrote more in depth on the changes here if you happened to miss it.

Angels catcher Martin Maldonado says he is going to do what’s necessary to stay on the same page with his pitchers. Via Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Maldonado said, “If the game is on the line, I’m going to go out there. If we’re at six [visits], and it’s going to be the seventh, I’m going to go out there, even if I have to pay a fine. I’m there for the pitchers.”

Cubs catcher Willson Contreras said as much on Tuesday. Per Josh Frydman of WGN News, Contreras said, “What about if you have a tight game and you have to go out there? They can’t say anything about that, that’s my team and we just care about wins. If they’re going to fine me about number seven mound visit, I’ll pay the price.”

Exhibition games haven’t even started yet, but two notable backstops — the lesser-known Maldonado won a Gold Glove last year — are clearly not happy with the rule change. As Craig alluded to in his article yesterday, arguments between catchers and umpires (and, subsequently, managers and umpires) are probably going to become more frequent, which would likely end up nullifying any pace of play improvements.