Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez got it done in the field and at the plate in last night’s win over the Orioles, robbing Chris Davis of a home run in the third inning before taking Ubaldo Jimenez deep in the fifth. Check it out below:
According to ESPN Stats & Info, Martinez is the fourth player this season to take away a home run and hit a home run in the same game. Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, and Seth Smith are the others. And as for Chris Davis, he’s had three home runs taken away from him this month alone.
Martinez is now up to 26 home runs on the season, which ties Albert Pujols for second in the American League. Mike Trout, who hit a walk-off blast last night against the Red Sox, leads the way with 27 homers.
Ubaldo Jimenez was so bad last season that the Orioles basically did everything they could to avoid relying on him in the rotation just months after signing him to a four-year, $50 million contract as a free agent.
However, this offseason he talked extensively about hoping to get healthy after lots of nagging injuries and making an effort to revamp his mechanics with the coaching staff. Whatever he did, it’s been working.
Jimenez shut out the Indians for eight innings Sunday, improving to 7-3 and lowering his ERA to 3.09 with an 89/27 K/BB ratio in 87 innings that represents by far the best mark of his career. He’s been the Orioles’ best starting pitcher this season, which is a statement that would have sounded insane last year.
Sunday’s gem included seven strikeouts and zero walks. It was the third time this season he’s walked zero batters in a start and he’s walked three or fewer batters in 14 of his 15 outings. By comparison, last year Jimenez failed to have a single zero-walk start and walked three or fewer batters in just 13 of 22 outings.
Jimenez’s raw stuff hasn’t changed. His average fastball of 90.5 miles per hour is the exact same as last season and his off-speed stuff has similar velocities to 2014 as well. But he’s trusted that raw stuff far more, cutting his walk rate in half from 5.5 to 2.8 per nine innings while maintaining a strikeout rate near his norm of around one per inning. And in doing so he’s gone from a signing the Orioles immediately regretted to sitting atop the rotation for a first-place team.
Yankees outfield prospect Mason Williams made his major league debut on Friday night at Camden Yards against the Orioles. Batting ninth, he struck out in his first major league at-bat against Ubaldo Jimenez. He had much more success the second time around.
With a runner on second base and one out in the fourth inning with the Yankees trailing 5-1, Williams drove a 0-1 fastball from Jimenez into the seats in right-center for a two-run home run.
Williams was considered one of the top outfield prospects a few years ago, but struggled in 2013 and ’14. He hit will with Double-A Trenton to start the season before earning a promotion to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on May 21. He hadn’t homered in 235 combined minor league plate appearances this season.