Ian Kinsler (ankle sprain) works out in cleats

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Ian Kinsler headshot.jpgAccording to Ray Buck of the Dallas Morning News, Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler is finally beginning to show progress in his recovery from a high ankle sprain.  He worked out Sunday in cleats for the first time since March 12, taking grounders and turning double plays.  He tried to run, though, and could only push it at about half effort.

Kinsler won’t be cleared to begin a minor league rehab assignment until he can run at 100 percent, and that could mean another two weeks.  Joaquin Arias has seen a good chunk of time at second base and is 8-for-16 with three runs scored.  Andres Blanco, 0-for-5, has also seen some playing time at the position.

Kinsler, 27, boasts an 827 career OPS and hit .253/.327/.488 last season with 31 home runs and 86 RBI in 566 at-bats.  The Rangers are hoping he’ll rejoin the club by the end of April.

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.