Quick hits: Pujols powers Cards past Twins

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– The Pirates are reportedly mulling a trade that would send Nyjer Morgan to the Nationals. According to the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette
the teams were discussing a Morgan for Lastings Milledge swap, but the
Nationals balked when the Pirates insisted on including Craig Stammen
in the deal. The Nats apparently covet Morgan as a potential leadoff
man.

– Albert Pujols launched two home runs
in a win over the Twins on Saturday afternoon. El Hombre leads the
world with 28 home runs and 74 RBI. He’s currently on pace for 60 bombs
and 159 RBI.

– J.C. Romero could be in some hot water. He was accused of assaulting a fan who claims he was grabbed by the neck and pushed after asking “How about you get me some juice?” Romero apparently took umbrage to the request.

– J.A. Happ tossed his first career complete game shutout in a win over the Blue Jays on Saturday. Even in 97 career minor league starts, Happ never tossed a shutout.

– Jose Reyes jogged and took batting practice before Saturday’s game, but there’s still no timetable on his return. The Mets leadoff man has been on the disabled list since May 26 because of a right hamstring injury.

– And finally, Roy Halladay is primed for a Monday return
against the Rays. Halladay is 10-1 with a 2.53 ERA and 1.04 WHIP, but
has been on the disabled list since June 18 because of a groin strain.

Video: J.D. Martinez hits league-tying 23rd home run

Seattle Mariners v Boston Red Sox
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The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.

In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.

The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.

Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.