With a 10-game winning streak, the Blue Jays are the hottest team in baseball. But here comes Texas.
The Rangers tallied four runs on eight hits Saturday against Cardinals youngster Shelby Miller and got a promising outing from Martin Perez, winning 4-2 in the second game of a three-game set at Busch Stadium in downtown St. Louis. The eight hits were a season-high for Miller and the win was the Rangers’ fourth in a row. Nelson Cruz hit his 19th home run of the season and A.J. Pierzynski hit his seventh.
The finale of this 2011 World Series rematch is the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball game. It was supposed to feature Adam Wainwright vs. Yu Darvish, but Darvish was bumped to Tuesday for non-physical reasons and Nick Tepesch will start for Texas instead. The Rangers are currently tied at the top of the American League West standings with Oakland.
Your Saturday box scores and recaps:
Rockies 7, Nationals 1
Rays 5, Yankees 7
Orioles 2, Blue Jays 4
White Sox 3, Royals 2
Astros 4, Cubs 3
Mets 7, Phillies 8
Marlins 1, Giants 2 (11 innings)
Braves 0, Brewers 2
Twins 7, Indians 8
Red Sox 3, Tigers 10
Rangers 4, Cardinals 2
Dodgers 6, Padres 1
Reds 3, Diamondbacks 4
Pirates 6, Angels 1
Athletics 5, Mariners 7
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.